Know Your Chef
What/who inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!
Cooking means something different to everyone. For me, it was time well spent with my brother. I was sixteen when I started helping him make his favourite dishes, and looking at how excited I was about spending time in the kitchen, he was more than happy to let me help out. The memory of preparing my first proper meal for the family under my brother's watchful eye, is one of the incontestable joys that will last forever. In the year 1996 I started a three year apprenticeship at the Centaur Hotel in Mumbai and joined JW Marriott, Mumbai as a chef soon after. Later, I was aboard P&O Princess Cruises as the resident chef for seven years. I had an amazing cooking experience of working in one of the most culturally diverse work environments here and discovered a plethora of culinary skills. The time here was very rewarding and there was not even a single dull moment to report. Later on, I joined as a resident chef at the Sahara Hotel in Mumbai and Taj SATS Air Catering, which is a company that provides in-flight food. As a chef I have spent my life honing my skills, broadening my horizons and making lasting friendships with people all over the world. It has been an amazing journey so far. Today, I have teamed up with some great chefs at Holachef and I believe we are serving our customers some of the the best meals and recipes.
Which celebrity chefs do you admire the most?
Chef Satish Arora, who is the first Indian to be awarded the international lifetime achievement award by Curry Club of UK, is a chef I have had the pleasure of working under and admire the most.
Which are your favorite films? What entertains you?
I have always been an Amitabh Bachchan fan. Apart from watching movies occasionally, a quiet and peaceful day spent at home resting, away from the hustle-bustle that dominates a usual day in the kitchen, is quite entertaining.
Do you like to travel?
One of my favourite go to destinations is Mahabaleshwar. I have travelled quite a bit during my time with P&O Princess Cruises, but travelling to New York is a dream that I hope to fulfill someday.
Which are your most favorite books?
Larousse Gastronomique is something I always refer to as a guide and a resource. I usually don't get much time to read anything else due to my busy schedule.
Have you tried food from Holachef? How was your experience?
Yes I have and I was completely satisfied. My favourite dish has been Chef Avantika's famous fish curry.
Which dishes do you love to cook and why?
The complex flavours of Indian food is what got me into this profession in the first place. Apart from the different varieties of Indian cuisine, I also enjoy preparing continental recipes.
A cooking tip/secret that you always follow
Low temperatures take away the aroma and flavour of tomatoes, so avoid storing them in the refrigerator for long.