Know Your Chef
What inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!
I feel cooking was a natural career choice for me. A profession where you are able to do things that you love, is the one that you should pursue, and cooking was the path I chose to follow. My dad was a General in the Indian Army and I grew up in many locales, with parents who were adventurous diners. Our family had the good fortune of having some amazing home chefs wherever we moved, and who cooked the best food I’ve eaten through those years. They influenced and introduced me to the culinary world. The passion for food comes from these home chefs and my mom, of course, played an important role. Cooking, however, was not considered a respectable or profitable profession at the time. My pursuit for a safe pick led me to a marketing job in the pharmaceutical sector and my interest in food took a backseat. I decided to quit my 'safe' job in 1994 in order to get back into the kitchen and I started with helping out a friend as a chef handling his orders. The word slowly spread and I began helping a couple of people who were in charge of running events. My network of customers has just grown since. It was a unique experience for any chef to have. Cooking is what I’m naturally good at and Holachef has been a good fit for me. A lot of passion and self-motivation are two ways to describe my culinary journey so far.
Which celebrity chefs do you admire the most?
Sanjeev Kapoor is a person who has risen to stardom from humble beginnings. What I admire most about him is the simplicity in his recipes. He uses the simplest of ingredients and prepares really tasty food.
What entertains you?
I was a part of the school athletics team and I have always watched sports. I have also converted my wife into a tennis and a cricket fan. Watching sports with her is an activity I enjoy the most.
Do you like to travel? What are your favorite travel destinations?
I have traveled all my life, right from childhood, on account of my dad being in the army. In terms of dream destinations, I hope to take a trip to Europe with my wife.
Have you tried food from Holachef? How was your experience?
Chef Madhusudan cooks an impressive variety of dals. I enjoy relishing those with some baked chapatis.
Which cuisines/dishes do you love to cook and why?
Malvani cuisine is what I love to cook because this cuisine was my entry into the culinary world. Today, I have a variety of Malvani dishes under my belt.
A cooking tip/secret that you always follow.
When it comes to non-vegetarian food, I don't promote cooking at a high flame. Dishes cooked on a low flame are more juicy because of the amount of time taken. On the other hand, dishes cooked on a high flame tend to become chewy.
What's your favorite kitchen tool? Why?
My work involves a lot of grinding, so I have to go with my mixer-grinder at the Holachef kitchen.
If you weren't a chef, or in the food business, what would you be?
If I wouldn’t have become a chef, I would have joined the army and served the country like my father.
What's the largest number of people you've ever cooked for and how many different dishes/cuisines were served?
I served a crowd of 180 people on my 25th wedding anniversary and this included main course as well as desserts.
Any advice you would give to someone who is thinking about becoming a professional chef?
One thing that you should not do on your culinary journey is look back.
What is the one ingredient that you cannot cook without? Why?
There is a reason behind every ingredient that I add, so this is a tough one to choose.
Someone famous you would like to cook for?
I have always been a Salman Khan fan and he is someone I would love to cook for.
Which talent/ quality should a person definitely possess in order to become a professional chef?
A great passion for cooking is a quality that a person must possess.