Rena ALKANExecutive pastry chef, Absheron hotels, TV host
Rena Alkan, who is a native of Baku, Azerbaijan, has become one of her country’s most loved celebrity chefs.
As a child, she traveled around the former Soviet Union because her father was in the army and lived in different areas, including Siberia and Mongolia.
Her enthusiasm for pastry making, she insists, are inspired by her early years, wanting to rekindle the naïve magic of childhood when her mother’s kitchen was her haven.
Along the way, beyond her mother tongue, she learned to speak Russian, Turkish and English.
She returned home and was initially trained at the Baku Culinary Lyceum and then went on to work for the Azerbaijani Presidential Office as a pastry chef and then the Hyatt hotel chain in 1995 for nearly 20 years.
She became a celebrity chef a bit by chance, invited first as a guest cook on a show sponsored by a cheese company, and then became a pillar of the program and a star attraction for the hotel.
Over the years, she has worked and was trained in various countries, including France, Belgium, Germany, Singapore and the US. She has also represented her country at the Culinary Exhibition in Hamburg and several times at the World Chocolate Masters’ Competition in Paris and was a jury member in the Istanbul pastry contest.
Today, she is Executive Group Pastry Chef of the Absheron Hotel Group, Azerbaijan’s leading hotel chain. She also manages their pastry shop in Baku and works for the country’s biggest
supermarket chain, Bravo and the Saffron restaurant group.
Finally, she is the Azerbaijani International Ambassador for the Callebaut Chocolate Club.
She loves to innovate and change to surprise her very loyal followers and clients, drawing from her various experiences, but always on the lookout for inspiration when she travels or browses the Internet. Rena’s style is extremely colorful and precise, as epitomized in her wedding cakes, where her youthful energy and her impeccable technique merge to make spectacular and celebratory dreamlike creations.