Trained in the United States and with significant experience in France, pastry chef Maya Revivo’s trajectory has allowed her to acquire a complete picture of the trade before settling in her native Israel. There, she is now responsible for Dan Gourmet’s pastry studies, The Israeli Center for Culinary Studies. From there she tries to instill in her students precisely this personal experience, the need to expand training with professional experience in various places. ‘After this first step,’ she says, ‘one must walk the path and continue to learn, work and strive to refine their art form in each passing day.’ Her work shows that French base but with a closer look at the rich, local cuisine. In particular, she feels very motivated with olive oil, praising its gastronomic potential, comparable to ingredients like wine, coffee or chocolate, with varieties and terroirs that fill each oil with a particular characteristic. Additionally, Maya Revivo tries to not close herself in teaching, but also often attends to all kinds of special orders with which to stay updated. These creations she shares with us today are a perfect example of her experience and creative vision.
You have been in the practical side of this trade and now you are teaching. Which side do you like most and why?
I love and enjoy both worlds and try to stay active in both at the same time. I try to do that by still doing pastries for special events and orders for elite customers. I believe it is very important for any teacher to stay connected to the outside world and not get too caught up in the “Old Teachings”.
What character does give olive oil to the creations you have been sharing with us?
Israel is a land blessed with many different varieties of olives, and hence – olive oils. We’ve been growing them on this land for almost 2500 years, since the early settlements known to man, it’s practically indigenous to these parts. It’s a lot of fun to always find new kinds of olives and learn that as in coffee, chocolate and wine, the terroir (or the soil) plays a huge roll in the flavor of the finished product. I try to incorporate this amazing product in many of my creations, especially sponge cakes and tarts.
We understand pastry culture in Israel is very strong. What challenges must face Israeli pastry chefs to achieve a better international recognition for their finest pastry?
Israel has developed tremendously in the past years in terms if pastry. Many new shops have opened and business is thriving, but we are still quite far from the level of pastry of most European countries. I think this is due to education, and this why my job as pastry instructor and course manager is so important to me. In the past if you wanted to be taught by French pastry chefs you needed to go to France and spend a lot of money, nowadays many French chefs are traveling to Israel to teach here. I think in a few more years out level of performance and precision will continue rising.
It’s a lot of fun to always find new kinds of olives and learn that as in coffee, chocolate and wine, the terroir (or the soil) plays a huge roll in the flavor of the finished products
What does it inspire you most when you create a new dessert? Are you influenced somehow by other pastry chefs posting in Facebook, instagram or featuring in professional magazines like SG?
I find that I am inspired by social media like FB and Instagram but I personally find more inspiration in a book or a magazine. I also find much inspiration in traveling. A new place I’m visiting can ignite a passion for creating a new dessert from the local produce or atmosphere. I find that exploring new flavors always excites me.
You will find these three recipes in so good #15