What do you love about baking?
I get to be creative! And as cliche as it may sound, it’s such a satisfying feeling when it turns out well and your customers or your friends and family, loves it and it puts a big smile on their face. It feels as though I’ve won a huge gold medal, their smile and support is all I need to keep doing what I love.
We first met Veronica in a food fest at Green Path. During the period of one hour we spent roaming around gobbling up everything that looked, and tasted delicious, we stopped by Veronica’s stall thrice. Not once, not twice but thrice. The reason: SHE BAKES THE YUMMIEST FUDGE BROWNIES.
It’s one thing to think that a few more brownies wouldn’t hurt. Quite another to make a homebaker happier than she already is. Not only it made her, and her friends smile, we were insanely happy that we made someone smile.
A few weeks later, we went her home. That was after we made her hella confused calling her Abirani. And ‘Abirani’ was how Nathan heard her name first at Green Path! Quite (not) funny, Nathan!
Two bus rides and one train journey later, we arrive at her place. Even before Veronica opens the gate, three German Shepherds greet us. They are extremely furious that two strangers came to meet their beloved owner.
Veronica greets us with a glass of iced soft drinks. Her mom, a sweet lady and dad who on a holiday works from home tells us many stories of commuting everyday to Colombo for work. The smell of gooey chocolate mixed with sugar floats in the air as Veronica offers us lunch, cooked by her, with love!
Veronica reminds us of our once lost dreams. Dreams we once buried down but slowly seeking a new life. She bakes full time, not only fudge brownies. But everything from butter-cake to creamy teatime cookies and profiteroles. In a money-driven and a career driven world, she’ll tell you a few little things that’ll take you far in life, like slow living and pursuing a career in what you love, that, that make you happier – something we think she learnt from her dad, and mom.
Who We Met
What do you do in life: self-employed homebaker
Okay, first, what made you interested in baking?
Actually in the beginning I always had a thing for designing, and I continued thinking I would always get into the field of designing as time went on… Baking was always there but I never actually thought I would pursue it as a career, it was just a fun hobby I picked up after watching my Mom make her ever so soft and famous butter cake and my Dad’s (family secret recipe) Bread pudding! It’s so good! You have to try it! (I would strangely choose that over chocolate if those two were put in front of me, that’s how good it is, so is the butter cake), then it turned into me helping them make it and from there I moved onto making it by myself. But I guess no one in my family baked anything with chocolate (other than grandma’s ever so good marble cake)…
And I honestly loved anything chocolate, even at that time. As a kid, I still remember how my Dad would mix milk powder, sugar and cocoa powder to make hot chocolate but end up making a mix for me to eat, since it was really yummy, to the time where I was going to school, most of the time after picking me up, my Dad would take me to the Kandos Chocolate shop near my school and end up buying a whole load of chocolates from mint to cashew clusters for me and to take home. And while everyone went for barbie icing cakes, My parents would get me a chocolate cake, since I couldn’t handle a lot of icing. And since no one baked anything at home with chocolate, I took in the role of baking especially with chocolate and it stuck since then…haha I think the final blow was when I came across an Anime called “Yumerio Patissiere” and then came along Pinterest! the desserts looked so good, I finally figured that I could just design and create desserts instead!
When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home.
You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.
We see a lot of kids in a rat race to be doctors, engineers and lawyers today! And parents force them to. Living in the same world, the idea of pursuing a career in baking, did that make you scared in the beginning? How supportive were/are your parents?
Nope, Not at all. My parents were and are VERY SUPPORTIVE, my Dad might have tried to hint that, I should try and become a doctor and my mom an air hostess, hahaha (mama, dada if you’ll are reading this! You’ll know you’ll did), but they always said that they would support me in whatever I choose to do. And honestly, I’m very grateful to them, it’s not easy, having a big family, there is so many to support, financially speaking as well, but someway or another they always pull through.
Haha now that I think about it! My Dad was actually the one who suggested and dragged me to my current school, I was the one who refused to at first…(I was always like “pffft.. I know how to bake, who needs that!” but after starting Prima I learned that it’s so much more).
Where do you study baking/cooking? Do you enjoy taking classes at culinary school?
I am currently studying at “Prima Baking Training Center” for a diploma in baking.
And omg yes, I do! Not only have I learned so much up to now! I get to learn under amazing chefs with a lot of professional experience as well, who are always open to help us and even answer stupid questions at that haha and I have met the most amazing people, who I share a common interest with and I like to call friends!
Say your friends just called and told they’re coming for a sleepover tomorrow night. What would you cook them?
Brownies and choco chip cookies! One of my besties loves choco chip cookies, so I guess it’s a must, hahaha.
Three songs in your playlist?
1~ On top of the world (imagine dragons)
2~ Officially missing you
3~ Touch (little mix)
What is something in the suburbs and outstations that interest you? Do you like the city life?
It will have to be the scenery and the very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
I do like the city life, since it’s really convenient when I need to get anything, you can find almost anything in the city! But it can get hectic at times.
Sooooo, imaging there are a bar of chocolate, buttercake and a glass of falooda milkshake on the table. You can only pick one. What would you pick and why?
The chocolate bar! Me and my family love chocolate, so it’s literally impossible to leave chocolate at home, unattended to, you will only come back home to find it gone or if you’re lucky only one piece left! With a “ohhh, i thought it was for me (evil smirk)…” hahaha, i’m not kidding, if you were me, you would take the chocolate!
What do you like to cook/bake the most and why?
Brownies!!!! It’s fudgy! AND IT’S CHOCOLATE! I MEAN, WHY NOT!?
And finally, what do you have to tell any person who’s starting culinary school?
Go for it! You can do it! It may be really intimidating at first but don’t worry, it’s always like that at first! Just be open minded and you will do just fine! This is coming to you from a girl who went to an all girls’ school and a very quiet one at that (I guess u can call me an introvert), I was really nervous on my first day! So was everyone else from what I hear, haha you will not be able to recognize anyone if you were able to see us from then and now! We have come a long way, with the guidance and support from our chefs at Prima. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or even trying out new things, be creative, try stepping out of your comfort zone, I’m sure you will do well!
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