Vinesh Johny is the Co-founder and Executive Pastry Chef of Lavonne Academy of Baking Science & Pastry Arts, Bangalore. He worked with multiple luxury properties in India, in various capacities, before he found his calling to be an educator. He was on the inaugural Forbes ‘30 Under 30 Asia’ list in 2016, made it to the ‘All Star Alumni’ list in 2017, and was one of CNN’s ’20 Under 40’ in the same year. He is also the World Skills Expert, officially representing India at WorldSkills Abudhabi in 2017. He was also the official mentor for Team India and helped India achieve our first Silver medal ever in Patisserie! He along with his mentee will be representing India again at World Skill Russia in 2019, for Patisserie Skills. He was presented the prestigious Restaurant India Award 2016 for Pastry Chef of the Year. Additionally, Lavonne, under his able leadership, has been bringing home multiple awards. As an educator, he is known best for his engaging personality and his nonconformity to old-school methods of teaching.
Dr. Avin ThaliathInstagram
Co-founding Lavonne is among the highlights of Chef Avin’s illustrious career. A bronze medalist of Bangalore University in 2004 for the Bachelor of Hotel Management degree, he went on to pursue an MBA in Human Resources. An educationist at heart, he served as Assistant Professor, Department of Hotel Management, Christ University, before joining Lavonne in a full-time capacity. He has studied at various boulangerie and pastry schools around the world and holds the credit of being a Golden Certificate Awardee of Vatel Scholarship, Nimes, France. Chef Avin is a member of WACS (World Association of Chef’s Society), SICA (South Indian Culinary Association), and IFCA (Indian Federation of Chefs Association). He has authored a number of academic journals, books, and monographs, and has presented award-winning papers at top-level industry summits. He is also the World Skills Expert for India and will be representing the county at World Skill Russia in 2019, for Bakery Skills. As someone who believes learning never stops, he recently completed his Ph.D.
After completing her course in cake decoration in Malaysia, Joonie Tan took the entrepreneurial route and set up 180 Degree Celsius, a luxe cake boutique that specialises in customised, novelty and theme cakes and cookies in 2010. She moved to Bengaluru, India, in 2012, to shoulder the responsibility of Chief Pastry Artist at Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Arts. Always fascinated by weddings and the scope for creativity in wedding cake decoration, she has established herself in the field, so much so, her wedding cakes have been featured by all the leading newspapers and magazines (bridal and otherwise) in the country, and have been recognized by international pastry artists too. She is the co-editor of India’s first cake decoration magazine – Sugar.
Chef Sachin Wilfred shoulders the responsibility of Chief of Academics at Lavonne. Armed with a degree in Hotel Management, he has worked in kitchens of high repute such as at The Oberoi, Olive Beach, The Park, and ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru. His field of specialization include boulangerie, patisserie & chocolatiere. He is one of the most loved chefs at Lavonne for his approachability. Being the go-getter that he is, when he isn’t teaching or grading assignments, he ensures he stays fit and also travels whenever he can.
Prior to coming back as the Executive Chef Instructor at Lavonne, her alma mater, Chef Prathana interned at the Leela Palace, Bangalore. A patient perfectionist, the 24 year old chef’s forte includes creating plated desserts, confectionery, bonbons and pastry. In her free time, she religiously reads up about top pastry chefs and their work. Yoga, swimming and traveling also interest her majorly.
Armed with a degree in Hotel Management, Chef Upamanyu Urs is the Assistant Executive Chef Instructor at Lavonne. Having interned at The Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott Bangalore, he has also lent his expertise at Bliss Chocolates (Smoor) for a year. Although his specialty lies in boulangerie and chocolaterie, he has recently developed a strong love towards laminated dough and strives for perfection every time he’s working with it. Pursuing his love for breads, he travelled to South Korea and trained at Hans Academy, learning all the nuances of creating world-class breads! Calm and composed at work, he is also very passionate about food & nature photography. Being an avid biker, he loves to travel and explore new places, especially the mountains.
Chef Tom Thomas has a rich experience of over 12 years in the hospitality industry of which 6 years were fully dedicated to being an academician.
He’s an active member of Indian Culinary Forum and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from Institute of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition, PUSA and also a Master’s in Tourism Management from IGNOU. Prior to his academic career he was associated with TAJ SATS Air Catering Limited as Chef De Partie handling business, first-class kitchen for various high-level visits of the President & Prime Minister, which has been highly appreciated. As a dedicated academician having conducted English baking camps in South Korea, and presented research papers in various national & international journals. Chef Tom believes that there is no end for learning new things and one should always be motivated to enhance one’s skills with complete dedication .
Chef Instructor, Kasthuri Subramanian, comes with a background in Computer Applications but when she figured her true calling to be a pastry chef, she enrolled for the Diploma program at Lavonne. Prior to joining our faculty, she worked at Fabelle and at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai. Chocolate and pastry making are her two major domains of interest. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and solving Sudoku puzzles!
Armed with a B.A. in Culinary Arts from Manipal University, Chef Nandheetha Varadaraj went on to pursue a Diplome de Patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu, Ottawa. She has interned at a number of luxury kitchens such as Vivanta by Taj Surya, Coimbatore, Taj Coromandel, Chennai, and Taj Krishna, Hyderabad, and has also worked as an Apprentice Chocolatier at Stubbe Chocolates Ottawa. As Assistant Executive Chef Instructor at Lavonne, her area of specialization encompasses chocolates, confectionery, and plated desserts. Notably, she won the second place and the People’s Choice Award at a chocolate showpiece competition in 2016 at the Ottawa Culinary Festival.
Having completed his Bachelor’s in Hotel Management from Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology in Pune, Anosh has also intensively studied French Chocolate, Confectionery and Pastry Arts from Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie, France. He has trained and worked in multiple properties around the world in the likes of; Marriott, Singapore, Patisserie LAC, France and The Grand Hyatt, USA. He has also contributed at multiple establishments within India in the likes of; Hyatt Regency, JW Marriott, Westin, Inn-venue Hospitality, Silver Spoon Kitchen & Deccan Epicure among a few others.
While not in the kitchen, Chef Anosh loves to engage in outdoor sports & activities. He has successfully trekked the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas that is 14,000 feet above sea level.
Following her B.Com and PGDBM, Chef Saloni Dabas completed a Certificate Diploma in Culinary Sciences at Le Cordon bleu, California, and an advanced Diploma in Pastry Arts at the Academy of Pastry Arts, India. Prior to joining Lavonne as a chef instructor, she worked as a chef at L’Opera India, Delhi. Creating chocolates, entremets, and petit gateau are what she does best. When she isn’t working, she makes time to travel, dance, and go scuba diving.
Aisha Mohammed Afzal
Switching from a computer engineering profession, Chef Aisha is an alumni of Lavonne Academy’s Diplôme de Pâtisserie, batch of January 2018, where she was awarded with special recognition of Best Outgoing Student. After interning at The Oberoi and Lavonne’s Production Facility, she is now a proud member of the Lavonne Academy faculty, acting as Assistant Chef Instructor for various courses. Chef Aisha is also an accomplished Table Tennis player having represented Andhra Pradesh at the national level 5 times.