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From pastry to culinary design with alumna Paola Andrea Sànchez

Paola Sanchez

Meet Paola Andrea Sànchez, Pastry Diploma 2012

Graduated from the Diplôme de Pâtisserie in 2012, Paola Andrea Sánchez founded Espacio Crudo in Bogota. It is a food design and photography studio that reinterprets the aesthetics of ingredients, recipes, and food itself in playful and experimental ways. How did her pastry training lead her to culinary design? She tells us more.

Can you introduce yourself?
I am designer and a pâtissière. I work as the art director of Espacio Crudo, a design studio based in Bogotá-Colombia that I co-founded with Andres Caicedo and Natalia Londoño. It focuses in creating visual narratives around food and transforming them into photographs. We work with food brands helping them to find the best ways to visually communicate the stories behind their dish or products. But also, we use food as explorative medium to tell our own stories, trying to develop new visual styles where food is the main character.

What have you accomplished since graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Paris?
Before I started running the studio, which is going to be 6 years now, I got to be the pâtissière of some businesses in Colombia allowing me to gather the experience to create my own cake brand, and I got to design restaurants also which is something really nice.

What do you think were the real pluses of the training you followed?
From all the pluses, I think the main one is that I understood food, not just visually, but the ingredients, the preparation, the methods, the respect for the craft and food itself, which let me to have a really accurate approach from my position as a professional that works with food but in a more experimental way.

Do you remember your first day of school? How was it?
It was amazing, I was nervous, but it smelled like chocolate!

How Le Cordon Bleu helped you in your career?
Before starting at Le Cordon Bleu, I was a designer that loved food. But when I finished my career, aside from being a little confused about going to face the real world, I knew that food was going to be my main focus, it let me develop a passion around it. I knew food was the way.

What do you like the most in your job? 
That I got to mix my 2 careers and make it work. It wasn’t a smooth way, everything has ups and downs, but I am getting there. But aside from this, I get to understand everything about food, from its commercial purposes to those little details that make a restaurant or a product special, the crafts and the soul of everything.

Any advice for someone who wants to work in the culinary arts industry?
Do it, don’t think too much. I have heard a lot of ideas that are never developed. So, it's just getting yourself to work, get your hands dirty, do it.

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