A man of many interest and talents, Balazs Enzsol could easily gain success on various career paths that he has contemplated during his youth. After finishing his studies in economic and military academy, the Hungarian-born lads discover his interest in all the sweet things in life-literally and figuratively. So he packed his suitcase and starts all over again from the bottom of the kitchen scene. It didn’t take long for him, however, to rise above the prominence and becoming a head chef back in 2009. Now, he works in Barcelona’s one-Michelin Star restaurant, Hoja Santa, and managing his own brand, Enzsol Patissier. In this exclusive interview, Mr. Enzsol shares various aspect of his life, giving us an insider perspective of how to capture people’s attention (and heart) through his amazing pastry creations.
As an aspiring pastry chef, could you name us one of the sweetest moments in your career?
I believe that in every pastry chef life, one of the sweetest moments when you idol(s) start to pay attention your work. I remember, back in the time I was admiring them through videos, or pastry magazines. Nowadays, with some of them I have a good friendship, some of them following me on social media, which means I am on the good path. Sooner or later, all the hard work pays off.
So how did it started? What drives you to enter the world of culinary creation; and why pastry?
I started my culinary carrier in England back in the time. First I planned to stay just in the UK for a year, to learn the language and get some pocket money as I took a one year break from my university study. The one year turned into 7 years. I started as a pot-washer and after 4 years I already had my first head chef position. In 2013, I left the island and ended up in Tirol, Austria. Because
of the language I dropped back to chef de partie position and I started to work on the pastry section. That’s where my real journey begun.
What’s your pastry specialty? Name us one of your most favorite ingredients to work with?
I specialized on French pastry, mainly I do mousse (creamy) desserts. I love to work with tropical fruits and flavors such as mangos teen, coconut, mango, passion fruit. Of course I love all kind of chocolate as well
Tell us about your involvement in World Gourmet Summit this year. Is there anything that we could anticipate from you in the near future?
This year I have been invited by my very good friend, Chef Ryan Clift and V-Zug, to promote my newest dessert menu at V dining at Scotts Square. Lately I like to get out from the comfort zone, go without safety net, and create very provocative and innovative desserts, for example my Black Chicken Claw Dessert. The dessert itself built on real chicken claw and has 3 different textured layers with 3 different chocolate infused with foie grass, black truffle and chicken, completed with Guinness and beetroot reduction, beetroot sorbet and savoury cocoa soil. The idea was behind the dessert to create a main dish looking sweets, but taste more savory than a dessert, to tingle around your senses, make you to have no idea what’s happening on the plate.
What’s your most favorite kitchen gadget?
My favorite gadget have to be the blast freezer as that is very important for my work and with that I can reduce the spent time in the kitchen.
What was the first thing that you learned about creating pastries that surprises you the most?
Working with pastry is totally opposite than working on the savory side. There are no shortcuts, you need to be patient and understand very well the different ingredients and components, also the reactions that can go between those
What is the most common misinterpretation about being a pastry chef that you wish to tell to everyone?
Time; everybody thinks that pastry can be done in a few minutes or hours. Some of my dessert is that complex that I need even a few days to make it.
How do you gain inspiration for your creation; any particular ritual / things that you should do before or during your pastry-making process?
Inspirations are everywhere. It could be a movie, a song, a painting. Or can be an actual dessert, what I can bring up onto the next level.
Describe yourself in three words?
Autonomous, berserk, hard-worker.