CHEF KARLA MARRO
Although Karla was beginning to acquire a solid foundation at school, there was still much more to learn. She applied for a position at Marriet, in Temuco, but was turned down based on her lack of experience. Undeterred, She did not give up her dream and moved to Santiago, the capital of Chile, in order to continue her quest for knowledge. Once there, she joined a boutique bakery. The owner of the bakery, shared a book with her, featuring Macarons by Pierre Herme. This further fueled her desire and fascination. She was determined to learn everything possible about French pastry.
Karla Marro grew up in Temuco, Chile where she spent a great deal of time at her Grandparent's bakery surrounded by their products. Already by the age of seven, Karla knew that she wanted to turn her passion for sweet things, into her future career.
As a child, she began by baking cookies and lemon pound cake. Later, when it was time to leave for college, she decided to join the Culinary school in her hometown.
What inspired you to enter the world of pastry?
My grandparents owned a bakery, and every summer we went to visit them. My grandpa was so awesome, he would let me have all the pastries I wanted! Then at the age of 8, I started baking cookies and pound cakes, and I realized that I want to pursue my career in pastry.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Anywhere outside the kitchen. I like trying simple desserts, and then I will come up with my own version of doing that dessert. I find it fun to take simple desserts and turn them into an exciting, complex version.
Who in your life has been the biggest mentor/inspiration in your career?
Eric Kalaboke, my pastry father, taught me all about chocolate, ice cream, mousse, etc. Suzette Greham, from Acquerello, would taste all my desserts, and any time she had something to say about what needs to be changed, I would listen. I remember her always saying this dessert only has one note, so I decided I would only create desserts with no less than three components or textures. And lately, Tyler Florence has given me the freedom to create any dessert, and he is a big inspiration for those who want to shoot for the stars. He embodies ambition, and I have learned to dream big like he does.
How is your team responding to the new realities of the world during and eventually post-COVID-19?
We are doing pretty well, following all the requirements and make do the best we can.
What Social Responsibility/Community initiative are you the proudest of taking part in?
I have never really participated in an official initiative, but I try to do my part in making people’s lives a little better. I will go out grocery shopping, and sometimes when I’m walking home, I will just give away my groceries to someone in need. Everyone deserves to eat! I recently heard about World Central Kitchen, and have been interested in helping out sometime in the future.
What are your hopes for the future of the world of food and pastry?
In food I want more simplicity. I like to really taste what I’m eating, and I feel like chefs today like to put too much on their plate. They are losing the essence of what really has to be the star on the plate.
For pastry I would say reducing sugar. Using the natural sugar of the fruit or using a great chocolate means you won’t need to add any extra sugar in your recipe,
What should the role of the food/pastry industry be in the community? The world? The environment?
The role of food and pastry in the community should cater to the palate of that community. People love eating foods that remind them of home yet bring them to another level. For the world, food is essential, everyone eats, and it's our job to create lasting memories of an experience that everyone shares. Anyone can eat a mundane meal, but creating something that lingers and drives people back to experience again is at the core of chefs around the world. For the environment, food should be ethically sourced and as sustainable as possible. We only have one Earth, and we need to treat her correctly.
What is your earliest dessert memory?
Lemon pound cake.
If you could pass one bit of insight down to a chef just getting their start, what would it be?
Follow your passions and never give up! Learn as much as you can, be patient, be honest with yourself with what you really want in this industry, and always keep in mind to have a goal set and time for your next adventure.
What is your favorite perk of the Cercle V program?
Having my dessert featured and the opportunity to attend a class at the L'Ecole Valrhona.
When & how did you hear about Valrhona for the first time? / When & how did your “relationship” with Valrhona start?
The first time I heard about Valrhona was at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in 2013. After that, I decided that Valrhona is the best chocolate available and have been using it ever since. My favorite chocolate is the Andoa Milk chocolate, it has a very robust chocolate flavor while still being creamy and dreamy.
Celsius or Fahrenheit?
Favorite Valrhona Chocolate?
Andoa milk 39% Pure Peru.
I don’t have a favorite restaurant but I will always go with Italian.
Favorite flavor pairing with chocolate?
Almonds or hazelnuts.
Coffee or Tea?
Favorite kitchen tool?
Who do you follow on social media?
@PastryElite and of course @Valrhona !
Favorite type of dessert to make?
Eclairs and Lemon tart.