Bhutanese Who Has Worked In New York And Singapore, Sells Artisanal Bread Via Instagram

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Jamsel Tshering Gyaltshen decided to choose a future in the food industry after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

(Source: PemC/Yeewong Magazine)

 

By Yeewong Magazine

There is an art to making bread, and this young, aspiring Bhutanese restauranteur is patiently learning to master this culinary skill.

Jamsel Tshering Gyaltshen decided to choose a future in the food industry after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.  

Thereafter, he gathered professional experience from working at Cafe Boulud and Mission Chinese Food in New York, the Tipping Club in Singapore and at Taj Tashi and Amankora in Bhutan.

Food scene in Bhutan is evolving

“Here in Bhutan, everything is very new when it comes to food so there’s a lot you can do. Bhutanese ingredients and dishes especially, I believe, have a lot of untapped potential and with the growing food scene and more and more inspiring and passionate cooks slowly coming into light – there’s a lot to look forward to,” said Jamsel.

Source: PemC/Yeewong Magazine

 

“Starting a restaurant is something I’ve always wanted ever since I pursued this field and it’s exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. But to see my goals coming to fruition is an unparalleled feeling.”

More about Project Zaa and sourdough bread-making

The 25 year old has his eyes set on opening his own pizzeria in Thimphu in 2019. At the moment, he runs a home-based sourdough bread-making business named Project_Zaa on instagram which makes healthy naturally leavened bread.  

 

Source: Instagram @Project_Zaa

 

Working with bread and dough is something Jamsel has never imagined he would end up doing in his culinary career, being mostly trained and taught in the old school French technique and then moving on to more Asian-centric cooking.

Strangely enough, Jamsel was introduced to the concept of working with dough by using levain (a sourdough starter which is a mixture of water and flour that has been converted into a leavening agent through the process of fermentation) through a Chinese restaurant in NYC where he made naturally leavened pizza and flatbreads.

It was this very technique that makes sourdough bread different from the commercial breads in town that are often baked with commercial yeast.

Jamsel’s unique experience of using levain to make sourdough bread

“It’s really cool being able to work with something like levain,” said Jamsel.

 

Source: Instagram @Project_Zaa

 

“It’s alive and kind of has its own personality. It breathes and you have to tend to it almost everyday, feeding it and making sure it doesn’t die. And if you do this well, it can last you forever. Literally!”

Jamsel described working on the entire meticulous process as an experience which connected him to a time before commercial yeast was available and he called it ‘pretty amazing’.

“Just when you think you’ve got the entire process down, it’ll throw you a curve ball and you have to take a step back and re-evaluate almost everything you thought you were doing right.”

However, he admits that the process is slow and sometimes painstaking.

“It’s a long process but you learn so much and as strange as it sounds, you create this bond with the levain and the dough, that helps me strive to get better each day.”

To find out more about Jamsel’s business, follow @project_zaa on instagram.

 

This article first appeared in Yeewong Magazine and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

 



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