When it comes to jobs in high demand in today’s world, software app developer is almost certainly near the top of the list. Business analysts and robotic engineers come a close second as the most sought after jobs in the market. But pastry chef?
Bruno Basomingera, formerly the executive pastry chef of Brioche, and the brains behind the relatively new Baso Patissier café in Kigali, is breaking the mould and proving that you can strike it big while sticking to your craft.
Baso, an abbreviation of Bruno’s last name, offers a luxurious blend of Belgian and French pastry. Patissier is French for pastry chef.
The café is located in Kiyovu, opposite the New Cactus Restaurant and the Chadel Village apartments. It is set in a cosy garden with scenic views of the Kacyiru, Kimihirura and Gikondo hills.
It has a variety of offerings from viennoiseries to breads, biscuits, pastry, sandwiches, omelettes, soups and hot, iced and soft drinks.
The café has a minimalist interior design, with wall paintings of the process of making pastries and coffee for that matter. Imigongo paintings and traditional crafts also make up part of the café’s decor.
The menu is written on a blackboard right behind the counter. The attendants were quick to serve me, and even translated the menu, written in French, for my Anglophone self.
I was there for lunch and chose a chicken burger with mango juice, and an éclair for dessert. As I waited for my meal to be served, the delightful aroma of freshly baked pastries wafted my way.
My food arrived in less than five minutes. The chicken burger was served with a generous portion of mildly hot and soft chips, salted to taste. The burger buns were soft and fresh, sandwiching a tenderised chicken patty, melted cheese, fresh lettuce and tomatoes. It was also served with a generous portion of mayonnaise and ketchup.
The mango juice was cold, freshly prepared and refreshing.
The dessert, an éclair with strawberry and maracuja, was the icing on the cake and sent me to sweet-tooth heaven. The café’s signature pastry, the patissier vanilla éclair, is a must try. It is slightly crispy with a creamy filling.
Chef Bruno was born in Belgium to a Rwandan father and Belgian mother. He enrolled at Ceria, a top culinary school in Belgium, to pursue baking, pastry and chocolate production.
Later, he joined famous Belgian chocolate-maker Nihoul as an apprentice and worked there for 10 years. Upon moving back to Rwanda in 2011, he was driven to share his professional skills and contribute to the development of fine pastry and chocolate, a sector that was untapped, and eventually open a pastry school in Rwanda.