This is the rewarding part of what we do – working with really smart people. Even among a crazy-talented group of Dispatches expat contributors including a Ph.D. in psychology, pro travel writers and photographers, marketing whizzes and consultants, there’s only one Elena Kalmykova.
Passionate about great food since her childhood and raised by two foodie parents, Elena created a custom cakes company in 2014 to express her creativity and love for desserts while earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Moscow State University. Despite the success of her first venture, she felt she didn’t have enough knowledge to keep developing as a pastry chef.
Moving to Paris to study the art of pastry at Ferrandi culinary school was a radical career change and she took a huge risk. However, more than three years in France proved this was the only decision she could have taken for her personal and professional growth, she tells Dispatches.
After studying at one of the leading culinary institutions in France, then subsequently passing the French state exam in pastry, CAP Pâtissier, she completed two internships of six months each:
• one at Café Pouchkine Paris, an exquisite pastry shop with an incredible Russian heritage on the regal place de la Madeleine.
• one at Le Pavillon Ledoyen***, a prestigious 3-star Michelin restaurant.
In May 2019 she started working at Trianon Palace Versailles Hotel as a pastry cook with her contract due to be renewed in mid-May 2020.
Focused, curious and motivated, she advocates the importance of understanding how and what we eat has a profound impact on our health, the well-being of those around us, our local and our national economy and the environment. With the desserts she is creating now, she explores new ways desserts can become something nourishing as well as a signature culinary contributor to the community and to suppliers in the food chain.
Elena is is fluent in Russian, English and French which enables her to converse freely with influencers from different walks of life working in the field of gastronomy.
So, Elena has spent the past few years in Paris, studying and working in the hospitality industry. Yet she found a way in her spare time to be a regular and valued contributor to Dispatches Europe. We hope she’ll keep writing for us.
You can see some of Elena’s work for us here.
Now the giant interruption in the restaurant and hotel businesses have her looking at the next chapter in her life and she’s ready for a change:
I am looking for a pastry position; however I also have experience in editing and writing, project management and social-media marketing. I would love to join a dynamic start-up in the R&D department or as a customer satisfaction manager.
I can contribute to the start-up’s development with my rigour and creativity in the R&D role. As for the customer care position, I have a great connections with very different people and understanding their needs and how the start-up can address them would be an interesting job to take on.
I am fluent in Russian, English and French. At the moment, I am learning Spanish and am on a basic A2 level of comprehension, with a strong motivation to keep learning. I would really appreciate any help regarding my candidature.
Contact Elena directly for more information at: [email protected]
You can follow her on Instagram at elena_kalmykova.
Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.