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Jay Panchpor: Founder of CrustWorthy Gourmet Breads Talks Inspiration


While most of us spent the pandemic binge-watching Netflix series that we've missed, Jay used it to find inspiration and transform into a baker. Here the founder of CrustWorthy Gourmet Breads talks about the select few movies and series that got him into baking.

Jay Panchpor of Crustworthy Breads
Jay Panchpor of Crustworthy Breads

Ratatouille


Ratatouille for me is all about love and passion for food. Rather than focus on the actual story here, I’d like to focus on how it highlights the simplicity in the art of cooking and how much love you can pour into making even a peasant dish like the Ratatouille and it can turn out to be a Michelin-starred dish, quite literally (since the dish was designed by Thomas Keller for the movie).


The passion with which Remy cooks, the involvement with which he pours every single ‘special order’ is very inspiring to me. I try to make sure that every single bread I make does justice to the authentic version of the dish. I strongly believe that you are only as good as your last bread.

Anton Ego tasting Ratatouille
Anton Ego tasting Ratatouille

The most powerful scene from the movie for me is when the Ratatouille dish manages to make the food critic Ego reminisce about his mother's cooking and childhood. Can there be a better compliment to any dish than the fact that it reminds you of your childhood? The critic is so aptly named Ego and by the end of the movie, he turns into such a humble gentleman who visits the restaurant for one sole purpose, his love for delicious, homely food that someone has put their heart and soul in preparing.


Can there be a better compliment to any dish than the fact that it reminds you of your childhood?

His review is one of the best parts of the movie. Anyone can cook is the message it conveys in the best words they could’ve used. “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” Perfectly said.


Chef


Chef is a movie in which I can very happily say Jon Favreau could pour his most authentic self in. Literally from the way Chef Carl Casper cooks, his every move in the kitchen, even the minute details like the way he handles his knife and chops a vegetable shows how much the person loves food.

El Jefe's Cubanos in Chef
El Jefe's Cubanos

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It makes you want to drop everything you’re doing and rush to the kitchen and cook something that means the most to you. Apart from the fact that Carl’s life is turned around because of a Twitter feud, I feel like Carl really needed it to set him free and pursue his love for cooking simple, comfort food.


While his ideas and passion are tied up when he’s working at the restaurant, taking on a food truck really lets him explore his potential and express his love for food. Even the sous chef Martin joins him as an investor and joins him on his journey. It’s just a matter of finding your crowd and people who believe in you and you’ll go places!


It’s just a matter of finding your crowd, people who believe in you and you’ll go places!

The most adorable thing is the way Carl grooms his son to appreciate food. Right from cleaning the truck to explaining why one shouldn’t serve the burnt Cubano, Carl pours his heart and soul into cooking.


His passion pays off when his son gets excited over trying out the famous Beignets from Café du Monde, New Orleans rather than visiting Disney World! Carl’s love for food and his work in this movie is infectious. It motivates me to love everything I do and pursue my dreams with renewed vigor.


Chef’s Table


Chef’s Table is a wonderful series of small documentaries for any person who loves food and feels a connection with it. It gives you a peek into the lives of these wonderful people who express their love through food. The way these chefs talk about their work, about how they grew to love their art truly touches your soul. If food is art then this show is a behind-the-scenes look at the Sistine Chapel of the culinary arts.

The stories of people like Massimo Bottura, Christina Tosi, Ben Shewry, and Gaggan Anand make you believe in destiny when it comes to finding your calling. I look up to every single person on here and watching them pursue their goals relentlessly helps me keep at it and never give up on my dreams.


MasterChef Australia


This beautiful, beautiful series is what got me to fall in love with food in the first place. I absolutely love every single aspect of this show, in fact, I wouldn't mind being a contestant on this show myself! The former judge's Matt, George, and Gary are the most talented, encouraging, soulful mentors any amateur cook could ever have.


Unlike their counterparts, MasterChef Australia is all about positivity and encouragement. It spreads the message that every amateur can cook if he or she has the passion to go for it. The positive criticism rather than bombast, the minute improvements that can help you elevate the dish to the next level, the attention to detail is what sets this show apart. Every day comes with a new challenge and you are never alone to deal with it. You have support and guidance and in the end, there is a feeling of achievement that makes everything worth it.

MasterChef Judges
MasterChef Judges

The guest judges they invite over are some of the stalwarts of the culinary world and just being able to interact with these people is everything an amateur cook could ever want. From Heston Blumenthal to Marco Pierre White, the contestants are truly blessed to be able to learn from these masters.


I remember the compliment Gordon Ramsay offered to contestant Sashi which still gives me goosebumps - ‘That dish is worth traveling 17,000 kilometers for!’. It’s these experiences that make this show the grand journey of exploration it is known to be. Churning the extraordinary out of the ordinary. Watching contestants like Reynold Poernomo and Matt Sinclair achieve their dreams inspires me to live each day the best I can!


Gordon’s Great Escape


The Dronacharya to my Ekalavya, Gordon is one of the most misunderstood people out there. Everyone sees him as a foul-mouthed, ill-tempered celebrity but underneath all that he is a passionate chef, a true master of his craft who genuinely loves food. This series for me is the witness to the fact. Gordon’s excitement for learning new things is infectious with him literally turning into a kid around new ingredients and cuisines. That’s what true passion is for me and the proof is in his Michelin stars.


Restaurant Gordon Ramsay has been a three Michelin starred restaurant for 21 years in a row and this requires tremendous dedication and love. It is extremely inspiring. Gordon did this series as a literal ‘escape’ from his personal and financial crisis. An abusive father and a troubled childhood have shaped him into a man who will accept nothing less than perfection, and yet he is so excited to learn new things as he travels across Southeast Asia.


From cooking with ‘Sambar Mani’ on the streets of Dharavi to cooking for Cambodian royalty, from learning pork sausages from ‘aunties’ in Thailand to putting up a seven-course authentic Vietnamese meal to some of Vietnam’s best food critics, from hunting and cooking with the tribes of Nagaland to participating in cooking competitions in Malaysia, this man does it all.

Jay with his supportive parents
Jay with his supportive parents

You can clearly see how open he is to any criticism thrown in his direction and that’s the exact person I aspire to be. I have read his autobiography ‘Humble Pie’ and Gordon is my go-to whenever I feel like I've lost my way. His adventures are truly inspiring and help me stay humble throughout.


Alex


Just as Anton Ego said, “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere”, this man is the perfect example of that. Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz, or Alex goes by the alias French Guy Cooking and is a YouTuber based in France whom I deeply admire.

 Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz
Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz

His YouTube channel is everything a food enthusiast could dream of! From visiting the best French bakeries to traveling to Italy to meet the greatest of chefs, this guy does everything. Maybe I can relate to him more because of our similar backgrounds. He gave up a career in electrical engineering to pursue his love for food.


Starting with cooking simple recipes from his residence back in 2013 he now utilizes his own studio and cinematography in his videos that can easily compare to the best food programs out there.


Giving up a stable career to pursue your passion is a very courageous decision, but Alex proves to me that it can be done and with just some patience and perseverance, you can achieve greatness. From making simple recipes like French Onion Soup, this guy went on to meet Luciano Monosilio, Franco Pepe and even had the opportunity to visit some of the best Michelin starred kitchens in Paris. He has also published his own books with his recipes and articles published by newspapers. His journey delivers the simple message in the best way possible - never give up, work hard and you will succeed!


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