Day in the life of a Pastry Chef: Yoana Vasileva

The secret to perfect pastries and desserts… planning, preparation and patience!

Yoana Vasileva:

Nationality: Bulgarian

Pastry Chef for over 6 years

Favorite part of the job: creating new desserts from unusual ingredients - this year Yoana produced a delicious Pinot Noir Ice Cream for one of our wine cruises and paired it with Chocolate Lindt Cake!

Her favorite desserts: Chocolate Lindt Cake, Lemon Sorbet and Macarons. To make… but also to eat!

Yoana’s work day begins at 6:15am with the preparation of the morning’s delicious pancakes and waffles. As the guests depart for their morning tours, Yoana and her assistant set about assembling, decorating, cutting and plating the selection of desserts planned for the lunch buffet. The delicious ice cream and sorbets made fresh onboard are always a big favorite at lunch and also need careful preparation to ensure they are set exactly to the right consistency at serving time.

Next up, Yoana takes time to plan her day… checking the next day’s menus, meeting up with the Executive Chef, and getting all ingredients together for the busy baking morning ahead which includes cakes, cookies, tarts, flans and regional delicacies like crème brulee and tiramisu.

Special requests for birthday or anniversary cakes are always fun to prepare knowing the decoration and presentation will add a special touch to a memorable dinner. Another area that takes focus and patience is the trio of desserts for the Chef’s Table restaurant – they are meticulously prepared to ensure everything is perfect for the 28 guests that will be enjoying the Tasting Menu presented each evening.

With the day’s baking completed, Yoana keeps a watchful eye over the lunchtime dessert buffet. With 164 hungry guests arriving almost all at the same time for lunch, she needs to keep a sharp eye on the desserts in order to replenish whenever necessary.

Yoana and her assistant take a much deserved afternoon break before checking back in at 5pm to prepare for the dinner service. This is when teamwork really counts as all the chefs need to work together in a very small area to ensure each part of the dinner menu is delivered perfectly to each guest.

All the planning, preparation and patience is rewarded with smiles of delight when the final dessert course is presented.

From Our Kitchen to Yours - AmaWaterways Chocolate Lindt Cake Recipe:

The Dough

  • 500g Butter
  • 900g Flour
  • 250g Sugar
  • 100g Cacao Powder
  • Mix all ingredients together, then roll out on a baking tray 1cm high. Bake 6 minutes at 175° Celsius (350° Fahrenheit). Let cool after removing from the oven.

    Lindt Chocolate Cream

  • 1.25L Heavy Cream
  • 300g Sugar
  • 20 Egg Yolks
  • 2kg Lindt Milk Chocolate
  • Bring the cream and sugar to boil. Warm up the egg yolks by adding a small amount of the hot cream mixture. Add the warmed egg yolks to the rest of the cream mixture and add the Lindt Milk Chocolate and mix together. Let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    Spread the Lindt Chocolate Cream on the pre-baked dough and bake again for 1 hour 30 minutes at 120° Celsius (250° Fahrenheit).

    When cooled, cover the Cake with Lindt Milk Chocolate Ganache

    Lindt Milk Chocolate Ganache

  • 250gr Heavy Cream
  • 350gr Lindt Milk Chocolate
  • Heat up the cream and add the milk chocolate, let cool then pour over the cake.

    Serve and enjoy!

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