Know Your Chef
What inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!
My inspiration to become a chef dates back to my childhood days. My mom used to run a small-time restaurant in Calangute, Goa and it was that authentic Goan cuisine that she was known and loved for. She is my truest inspiration for becoming a chef and I have the fondest memories of just watching and learning from her in the kitchen. I started my training at the Institute of Hotel Management and wanted to master continental cuisine. In this profession, learning never stops and you learn something new every day. So, I continuously work with an open mind to become a better chef.
Which celebrity chefs do you admire the most?
Chef Marcus Samuelsson is someone whose culinary skills and flawless presentation I have admired a lot. His working style and cooking methods are something I follow in my kitchen as well.
Which are your favorite films? What entertains you?
I enjoy watching romantic comedies and documentaries or films that are based on true stories. I also love to tickle the old funny bone by watching some stand-up comedy by George Lopez and Russell Peters.
Do you like to travel? What are your favorite destinations?
Travelling is something that I enjoy a lot. I have had the opportunity to see some beautiful places in the world while working with my previous organizations. Today, back in India, I am looking forward to exploring my homeland further, right from Kashmir to Kerala. I have been planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh on my Royal Enfield.
Do you read? Which are your most favorite books?
I am currently reading Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. I am not an avid reader, but I love picking up cook books and trying out some recipes by adding in my own twist into them.
Which dishes do you love to cook and why?
My mother used to always say that Goan food is the best cure for a bad mood. The love for Goan cuisine has been passed down to me from my mom and am sure, will be passed on to my kids as well. Apart from that, I also enjoy the overall richness of continental food and the exotic ingredients that go into cooking it.
A cooking tip/secret that you always follow.
While sautéing any ingredient in butter (like garlic, veggies, onion etc.) add a bit of oil. This will prevent the butter from burning. One of the the many lessons that I have learnt from Chef Marcus Samuelsson is that while preparing a dish for someone important, never try a new recipe and a new ingredient at the same time. Stick to what you know best!