Peruvian Take on European Pastry Tradition

Kul IN stood out as an attractive option because of its location, price, duration, and the fact that the programs are in English. Those aspects helped me make the decision to study here. 

Ana Paye Cussianovich is a young Peruvian interior designer with a French address, and a future pastry chef! She has pursued creative career paths all her life but now she has returned to her oldest passion, baking. She has found a new outlet for her creativity and channels her vision through decorations and food ideas. We sat with Ana and discussed the differences between Peruvian and European dessert traditions, her favorite desserts and plans for the future. Her background, combined with the talent and drive, holds a secret ingredient for a colorful pastry career full of diverse aromas and flavors, and we are excited to watch it happen!

Kul IN: When did you become interested in pastry?

I have been interested in baking from a long time ago and my interest grew through baking at home. Back in Lima I had a small business, selling personalized cupcakes, and just cake in general. Then I had to pause my pastry journey to focus on what was my main career at the time - interior design. However, I was not happy and now I am back in pastry. It is creative, you can transform food in art just with presentation.

Kul IN: How does pastry tradition differ between Peru or Latin America in general and Europe?

- It has been a shock, I think in Peru and South America, we are very „north-americanized“. We like brownies, chocolate and in Europe it is more traditional, more sophisticated. Now I can say I have experienced a mix of both worlds, and I try to apply the best from both worlds. Both approaches, fast and classical, can be combined into a unique blend.

Kul IN: Does Peru have any flagship desserts?

- We have some, Suspiro a la Limena (Sigh of a Lady from Lima), and the other one that I love, Turron de Dona Pepa. Suspiro a la Limena is a cream from a Peruvian fruit called lucuma and a very soft meringue on top. I just love it, it is traditional from Lima. And Turron de Dona Pepa is a very special dessert in Peru because it is commonly eaten during October when we celebrate the Lord of the miracles, a ver important holiday in Peru. The dessert is made of layers of biscuits made of anis, butter, flour. Each layer is dressed with syrup from fruits, fig leaves, figs, it is very sweet and coloful dessert.

Kul IN: Why did you choose Kul IN and how will this experience help you in your future career?

- I spent some time in Croatia learning Croatian and I used that time to research places where I could learn pastry. Kul IN stood out as an attractive option because of its location, price, duration, and the fact that the programs are in English. Those aspects helped me make the decision to study here. After the program, I would like to acquire more experience in a pastry world, maybe at a patry shop, or a restaurant and eventually start my own business.

Kul IN: Which lesson was your favorite?

- I think tarts and restaurant desserts. I really like decorating.

Kul IN: Do you prefer classic or modern techniques?

- I like both, it is good to know classic techniques and update them with the modern ones.

Kul IN: A good pastry chef should be...

- Patient, organized, and agile.

Kul IN: What is your favorite dessert?

I have two! One is mousse de lucuma but the one that never fails is a very moist chocolate cake, chocolate fudge. It can be accompanied by ice cream, for me it is like winter? Summer? I don't care.

Kul IN: Which dessert would you like to serve at your pastry shop?

- I am obsessed with preparation and presentation of Key lime meringue tart. I love the flavor, how easy it is to make, I love that you can play with the presentation and decoration, and it also never fails - summer, winter; it is sweet but refreshing at the same time, one of my favorite desserts for sure.

Kul IN: What advice would you give to future Kul IN students?

- Never stop exploring flavors and techniques. Research different chefs, explore their work, look at what they do, and never stop inspiring yourself.

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