Pastry Chef, Del Cambio (Turin, Italy)
Pastry Chef Nicola Dobnik owes his professional foundation to early work in one of Italy’s most renowned kitchens: Carlo Cracco’s Ristorante Cracco in Milan. As a pastry commis there, he learned the commitment and precision required of the profession, and his talent and creativity caught the attention of Chef Matteo Baronetto. Moving with Baronetto to open Risorante del Cambio in Turin, Dobnik continue to grow with leadership and training from Pastry Chef Fabrizio Galla, a World Pastry Champion and World Chocolate Master. Michelin-starred Risorante del Cambio is celebrated for the technical competence and the beauty of its food. With an artistic flair and firm grasp of technique, Dobnik designs desserts combining shapes, colors, textures, and flavors to excite the palate. In this fall’s Valrhona C3, his first international competition, Dobnik will put his talent to the test, crafting an original dessert and bonbon celebrating the 30th anniversary of Valrhona’s Guanaja 70 percent chocolate.
INTERVIEW WITH NICOLA DOBNIK
VALRHONA: Tell us about your pastry style? Who or what are your biggest influences?
I think I’m too young to say that I already have my own style, but I'm growing professionally. I’m inspired through what I read and see in the many pastry books I have in my library.
VALRHONA: What’s your favorite dessert that you’ve ever made?
My favorite dessert is ‘Baba’ in Peru,’ the one I created for the C3 Valrhona Competition semifinals.
VALRHONA: What was your first job in pastry?
It was also my first real job: I was a pastry commis at the Ristorante Cracco in Milan.
VALRHONA: Who are some of your mentors? What have you learned from them?
I’m here today beacause of Matteo Baronetto and Fabrizio Galla. Baronetto taught me about dedication to my work and the pleasure in doing it, and Galla taught me everything I know about pastry.
VALRHONA: What is your planned training regimen for the competition?
I will spend all of my free time testing, making, and thinking about the recipes I will present during the Final C3 Competition.
VALRHONA: What’s your most important kitchen rule?
VALRHONA: How do you feel about representing your country at the International Finale of the Valrhona C3?
I'm honored to represent my country.
VALRHONA: Why do you think you are the potential winner?
Because I hope to do something that nobody has done before.
VALRHONA: How does the theme (the 30 years of Guanaja 70%) inspire you?
I tried to make something new with Guanaja that nobody has done in the 30 years of its production.
VALRHONA: What is your favorite quote you will try to keep in mind for the competition ?
Work hard and do my best.
VALRHONA: What would it mean to you to win the competition ?
It would be a great surprise since it is my first competition, and it would be also a great satisfaction.