Know Your Chef
What inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!
My dad was a chef and I grew up seeing him work devotedly in the kitchen. I wanted to be like him when I was little and thankfully, it didn’t turn out to be just a phase - I did follow his footsteps in becoming a chef. My passion for the food trade comes from my dad who is one of the most organised and hardworking chefs I have seen in my life and he has had great work ethics. This inspiration, combined with my cooking experience, has helped me become a better chef while I learn new lessons every day. I started out by completing a diploma course at Dadar Catering College in Mumbai and was immediately hired by The Leela, Mumbai, where I was introduced to the food business in Mumbai city. I interacted with various head chefs, sous chefs, prep cooks and line cooks on the job and it was a great learning experience overall. I was born and brought up in this city and this is where I have worked all my life. I have worked in restaurants that include Le Pain Quotidien in Colaba, Cafe Sundance and Global Kitchen.
Which celebrity chefs do you admire the most?
I have worked with chef Rahul Kulkarni for 2 years, who starred in Kitchen Ke Khiladi, and for a short time with chef Ranveer Brar who was a part of shows like Breakfast Xpress and Snack Attack.
Which are your favorite films? What entertains you?
My family and I have our favourite TV shows that we gather around for. Having them all in the same room, doing something together, has become a source of entertainment for me.
Do you like to travel? What are your favorite travel destinations?
I do enjoy travelling and have been to many places in India right from Jammu and Kashmir to Kerala. I hope, I have the opportunity to visit the U.K someday.
Have you tried food from Holachef? How was your experience?
It doesn't get more authentic than chef Sandeep's Goan fish curry. I simply love it.
Which cuisines/dishes do you love to cook and why?
Continental cuisine is what I prepare well. I really enjoy everything about it right from the ingredients used to the various cooking methods and special cooking techniques implemented.
A cooking tip/secret that you always follow.
Regardless of the dish, one way to make sure that your chicken is soft and juicy is to slow cook it in the oven for about 10 mins. This greatly adds to the texture and taste.
What's your favorite kitchen tool? Why?
I use the Shun Classic 8-inch chef knife and this has been my favourite tool for years.
If you weren't a chef, or in the food business, what would you be? Why?
I believe I would be a professional volleyball player. Cooking and volleyball are two things I love.
What's the largest number of people you've ever cooked for, and how many different dishes/cuisines were served?
I have served a gathering of 200 people and three different cuisines were prepared on that day.
An advice you would give to someone who is thinking about becoming a professional chef?
Knowledge is important but what counts more is the right experience.
What is the one ingredient that you cannot cook without?
I use thyme in most of my marinades.
When it comes to food and cooking, what is your greatest achievement to date?
I have won awards for the best restaurant cook during my time at LPQ.
Which celebrity would you like to cook for?
I would like to cook my best version of an Italian meal for Sachin Tendulkar.