Wednesday, April 29, 2015

French Toast: a quaint little patisserie in Cochin

If you are in Cochin and looking out for a nice place where you are served with good patisserie, assorted bread and savory, then French Toast is the place to be. It’s a nice little quaint place with good ambience, pleasing service, good music, a great place to hang out and serves a varied menu. Their signature desserts are divine and innovative. The ingredients used are handpicked, fresh and imported. I would highly recommend this place if you are looking freshness and quality.

Let’s get to know more from Ayaz Salim, the owner of French Toast

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What made you want to open up French Toast? Did you have any formal training in setting up your café?

I was working in advertising for close to 12 years in the Middle East, my father who is also in the food industry in Dubai was the one who planted the seed in my head, so salman (my younger brother) and I started French toast back in 2011. We were clear back then that we wanted to give people good food (whatever the cost). I have not had any formal training in baking or culinary arts, but have a lot of on work training. However the people we employ are all well trained chefs from all over the world. 

What inspired the name French Toast?

Both Salman and I used to eat a lot of French toast growing up, and the concept of French toast appealed to us (the fact that stale bread is dipped in egg and reinvented in the form of a beautiful dish essentially avoiding any wastage and being sustainable.) hence the name. ​

What sets you apart from the others?

Here are a few pointers that sets us apart

We are amongst a handful of cafes / restaurants who use ingredients like belgian couverture chocolate (to give you an idea about how rare it is, in a city like Bombay there are only two places who use pure chocolate like us, the hyatt and another award winning patisserie called la foilie) - after we launched more people in cochin have started using and talking about Belgian chocolate etc, however they still only use it for one or two of their cakes instead of the entire menu. 

Our processes are totally different from regular commercial kitchens, for instance everyone in Kerala uses cake gels and sponge mixes to create their sponge, these mixes are pre made and sent from Europe/ India etc, however these contain a high amount of chemical preservatives to survive our climate and conserve nutrition but are harmful to our bodies over the long term.

 We on the other hand, create everything from scratch, that means if we make a jaconde sponge then we buy almonds, crush and grind them, extract the powder and use that as the base to make a cake, this is why for instance the MONT BLANC takes about 18 hours to make (including setting time) 

We are the most copied bakery in Kerala (there are already atlas 8 to 9 bakeries that copy our products and there is one that blatantly copied our Mont blanc by picking up one of our pastry chefs, what this means is that other people also believe in our products as much as we do. 

​We are the only bakery in Kerala that is preservative free; this means that our products are best for diabetic patients, heart patients etc.

If I walk into your café, what is the one thing I should order and eat?

I always struggle to suggest, when you say the one thing you should order and eat all I can recommend is what most people like, say the Mont blanc or our gouda cheese frenchtoast or strawberry frenchtoast or even the banoffee pie. However my personal favorite is the almond pear tart or the salted caramel tart (which most people would find hideous because of chocolate / salt combination)

Describe your space in 3 words


What advice would you give to someone who is dreaming of opening their own café?

Chances of you becoming a doctor are more than say succeeding in running your own cafe, that’s because the amount of personal discipline and domain knowledge required to open a cafe is much more than what people think, but everyone seems to take it lightly because our country does not have a culinary culture like say France or even Australia.

Any future plans of opening up another café?

​We are opening two in Kakanad by close of March, and looking for franchisees in Calicut. ​
Here are some pictures of what they offer and get ready to drool...


Thanks Ayaz for giving us an insight to French Toast.
Looking forward to my next visit to Cochin. Please click here to access updates from their Facebook page.
Images via French Toast

1 comment:

education consultant in north east said...

Now next time when ever we are in Cochin, we are going to visit this joint. Your writing is so impactful that I need a french toast right away.