Identifying your chef at Holachef

There’s only one way to make Holachef work for you – Identify ‘your chef’ at Holachef. Food is such a personal preference for everyone that what might be ‘too spicy’ for you may be ‘so bland’ for someone else. For the same reason, you might have certain restaurants as your favourites while the same eateries may not work for your friends!

Not a Holachef!

At Holachef, you can choose form multiple chefs. So while at a restaurant, you don’t have the freedom to choose ‘who’ will cook for you, at Holachef you can do exactly that! Once you identify which chefs work for your taste and palate, it’s easy for you to pick the right dishes from ‘your chef’ at Holachef.

Usually, you might have to take a few trials of the food to really figure which chef is better suited for you. After a few ‘meal dates’ with their food you will know who is your soulmate foodmate at Holachef as far as ordering meals and desserts goes!

However, to start with, here’s a simple ‘ready reckoner’ for you to see which chef specialises in which cuisine. You can also read about each chef against each dish listed on our daily menus here:


8 Mediterranean Dishes to try in Mumbai

With over sixteen years of experience and work spanning across various five star hotels, Chef Nishant Pawar brings the best of world cuisine on your plate. Having received accolades for his ability to offer Asian and Mediterranean specialities with authentic ingredients, Chef Nishant continuously strives to add new ingredients and regional style to his cooking.

A graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Mumbai, he has been trained in the kitchens of The Taj Mahal Palace & Towers; and Turkey’s most famous Chef Vedat Basaran’s restaurant Nar Lokantasi at Istanbul.

During his tenure at Dusit Dubai, he was greatly exposed to a lot of different foods from all over the world, owing to the import of diverse ingredients for the expats in the city. It was here that Chef Nishant got an opportunity to showcase his skills of Indian cuisine served in a designer style and at the same time, learn and experiment with other Asian cuisines including Thai, Malaysian & Indonesian.

Chef Nishant believes that there is a gourmet in every guest and it is this globetrotting foodie that he likes to please with his varied knowledge of cuisines. At Holachef, we are head over heels for his Mediterranean platters! Here are some of his signature ones, take a look.

Lamb Barbacoa with Mexican Bean Rice

Braised lamb marinated in red chillies, garlic, herbs and spices, drizzled with olive oil and roasted to create a delightful dish; accompanied by a delicious Mexican bean rice.

Spinach Fatayer

Lebanese style baked triangular pastries stuffed with spinach & cheese and served with spicy harissa sauce.

Chermoula Baked Fish with Paprika Potato Wedges, Grilled Vegetables and Halloumi Sauce

Moroccan chermoula marinated Basa fish fillets, baked and served with a side of paprika seasoned potato wedges, grilled vegetables and halloumi sauce.

Roasted Beet Orange and Chives Salad

A fibre-rich salad comprising of roasted beetroot chunks and orange segments tossed with chives and mint leaves.

Chicken Shawarma Pockets with Side Dip

A delicious and healthy preparation wherein grilled chicken is mixed with spices and roasted to perfection, topped with vegetables, wrapped in rolls and served with a dip.

Spinach & Cheese Gozleme with Harissa Sauce and Broccoli Almond Soup

A Turkish dish of pastry stuffed with spinach and cheese and served with a side of garlic bread and a healthy broccoli almond soup.

Mediterranean Cold Mezze Platter

An exotic Mediterranean platter consisting of hummus made from protein-rich chickpeas, baba ghanoush prepared from eggplants, vegetable crudites (sticks) and pita bread.

Lamb Burger with Tzatziki and Turkish Lentil Soup

Lamb pieces minced and cooked with Mediterranean spices, topped with rocket leaves, tomato slices and sumac onion places in buns and served with a side of Turkish lentil soup.

All of these dishes are available on; listed from time to time basis user ratings.

Holachef – A Truly Multicuisine Offering

(A truly multi-cuisine experience with Holachef shared by one of our chefs.)

Holachef makes hungry tummies happy!

By Chef Radhika Ichhhpuniani

All of us like to travel with our friends & families to explore our favorite locations and to spend quality time with each other. Our trips & vacations help enhance our mental and physical state in so many ways. For me, one of the best parts about travelling is to come back to home sweet home;, rejuvenated and recharged to take on whatever lies ahead.

I would like to talk about one such short trip which my family and I went on and how it ended with a pleasant experience with Holachef.

Recently, over the Ganesh Chaturthi weekend, my husband’s parents were visiting us from Chennai and we planned a short trip to Lonavala with them. We had a wonderful time at our favorite resort there and were thoroughly relaxed & rejuvenated by the end of the holiday. My 7 year old daughter wanted to stay there for another week and we explained to her that the best part about any vacation is that it has to end; and that we get to go back home to our day to day routine. Well, we didn’t think she bought it so we are still trying to convince her on that

On the way back home, we decided to not stop en route as we wanted to get home before the traffic built up (it was the final day of the ganesh chaturthi festival). Needless to say, I knew that everyone would be famished by the time we would get back home and  I started wondering (read worrying!) about where to order food from. As usual, each of us started sharing preferences about what they wanted to eat, cuisine, etc. It turned out that we wanted idlis & dosas, a sandwich or a panini, some parathas with veggies and my daughter wanted a chocolate mousse. I immediately knew that majority of the food providers wouldn’t be able to cater to such a diverse, multi cuisine menu.

With the above requirements at hand, I logged into the Holachef app and began browsing through the menu. As expected, there were so many options from all across India and it took me 5 mins overall to pick something for everyone and get the order confirmed. My daughter doesnt have much of an appetite but she loves browsing throught the Holachef app and drooling at the pictures, hence she added the individual dishes to the cart. That says a lot about the ease of ordering from the app, it’s literally a child’s play !

We reached home around 3:30 pm and the food arrived shortly after that. It didnt take long for most of the food to get devoured as everyone was hungry. My mother in law hadnt tried the Holachef food before and she was very happy with the food and the overall experience.  She was fascinated that home food need not necessarily come out of your own home kitchen any more.

A huge thanks to the Holachef team & its chefs for saving the day, for bringing the fun factor back to food ordering & eating, for promoting diversity and for making so many hungry tummies happy.

Tête-à-tête with Chef Sonica Khanna

Chef Sonica Khanna has for years mastered the authentic Punjabi flavours ranging from pindi chana and bature to the traditional kathal ki sabzi. Excelling in a cuisine so rich in spices and herbs, Chef Sonica’s secret to scrumptious platters lies in knowing the perfect quantities for the perfect taste. In this interview she reveals a little more on her journey towards culinary perfection.

Chef Sonica Khanna

What inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!

My husband and children have played a pivotal role in encouraging me to cook. My husband is an equally good chef, he started cooking at the age of 13. While he has continously motivated me to improve my culinary skills, my mother in law taught me the basics of cooking.

Which celebrity chefs do you admire the most?

Chef Kunal and Chef Vivek are my favourite.

Which are your favorite films? Who/what entertains you?

I like watching films and can watch Nine Months and Tare Zameen Par over and over again.

Do you like to travel? What are your favorite / dream travel destinations?

Yes, I love travelling and my dream destination is Melbourne where I would like to go on a holiday with my husband.

What do you love the most about Mumbai?

The professional attitude of the people and the fact that the city is always on the move.

Do you read? Which are your most favorite books?

I don’t read regularly.


Have you tried food from Holachef (made by another chef)? How was your experience?

Chef Archana Vohra and Chef Mohit Chotrani are too good and their food is amazing.

Tête-à-tête with Chef Shahzad Variava

Chef Shahzad Variava

From being a self-taught chef to the ‘Dessert King of India’, Shahzad has had a food filled journey and loved every minute of it. Having started with humble beginnings in the hospitality industry in the operations and HR departments, he took a plunge into cooking only later and went on to participate in Masterchef India (Season 2). He has his own patesserie by the name Mystery Box and  in this conversation Chef Shahazad talks more about his venture and passion for great food.

1) Tell us about yourself – where did you grow up, since when have you been cooking, what inspired you – anything.

I was born and brought up in Mumbai. A townie in my early years, we later moved to Andheri due to personal reasons. Believe it or not, I started cooking at the age of 7! This was more of a necessity as both my parents were working. My elder sister and I would get really hungry after school. This was a big motivational factor for us to cook food. From burnt rice to uncooked maggi to overcooked eggs, we’ve come a long way! Slowly and gradually, I started enjoying every bit of cooking and would look forward to it.

My paternal and maternal grandmothers were amazing cooks. I used to drool over their food. My maternal grandmother was excellent with desserts. She had won almost all competitions related to it! Personally speaking, I think the skills have come down from her, although I haven’t interacted with her much as she passed away when I was very young. On the other hand my paternal grandmother was great with Indian cuisine. I learnt my first rolling rotis from her!

So my grandmothers, a loving aunt in Pune and my elder sister are my true inspiration for cooking, and I owe my success to them.

2) What kind of restaurants do you like to visit?

Honestly, I’m not fond of fine-dine restaurants so much. I am more into road-side junk food and also enjoy buffets. My favorite hotels for buffet are – ITC Grand Central- Hornbys Pavilion, Trident- Frangipani and The Leela- Citrus.

Fresh Alphonso and Cream Layers by Chef Shahzad Variava

3) Which has been your most memorable holiday?

Not as yet! I have a list but need time to go and explore…

4) Which are your most favorite books?

Anything and everything related to food or culinary. There’s so much to learn from others.

5) Tell us something about Mystery Box?

The Mystery Box is my dream come true. After Masterchef happened, I knew my forte was desserts, so the next big step was to someday open my own patisserie in Mumbai. Along with my dear friend Ajay, we fulfilled our dreams. The brand is synonymous with quality and uniqueness. We don’t offer anything that is run of the mill. You will find gourmet desserts, cakes, chocolates and bakery products at my store!

6) What do you do in your free time? What are your other hobbies?

In whatever little time I get, I like to play badminton. Surrounded with sweets all the time, I make sure to either jog or swim to burn down the calories. I also enjoy spending time with my family.

Belgian Chocolate Layered Cake by Chef Shahzad Variava

7) What do you love about Mumbai?

It’s vibrant. The food is excellent. And the city always surprises you. With so many opportunities around, I feel blessed to be a part of this city!

8) Have you tried food from Holachef (made by another chef)? How was your experience?

Yes, but mostly desserts and it has been a good experience.

Tête-à-tête with Chef Joel D’Souza

Chef Joel D’Souza

Chef Joel D’Souza is a self-taught culinary artist who loves to experiment with a variety of ingredients. He is a food trainer with ‘A Perfect Bite Cook Studio‘ & also showcases his recipes on a Youtube channel called India Food Network. He has been into the catering business since September 2012 with his company, Crumbs to Gourmet. In this interview, we get to know him a little more with some fun questions!

What inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!

I had been interested in cooking since I was a child. When I was tall enough to reach the gas stove, I prepared my first dish – steamed rice and shark fish curry; which still remains to be my most favorite meal. I pursued a cooking programs at Taj Presidency where I got trained in the Thai Pavillion for 2 years. Post that I worked at a couple of restaurants which gave me experience and decent money. Later, I went to Vancouver for a 9-month course from Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, specializing in culinary arts and global cuisines. Since then, there has been no looking back!

What is your mantra for happiness?

Small things in life make me happy. If am able to wow someone with my food, that gives me immense happiness. Even when children take second helping pf my food at a party, it make me happy. I love feedback in all forms.

What do you do in your free time?

I read on new food trends, try out new dishes, bake cakes, go out and eat at restaurants to find out what’s keeping other chefs ticking. I also blog about my food & travel experiences.

If you were not a chef, what would you be doing in life?

I would be running a gym and providing others health food items along with it.

Manglorean Chicken Roast with Dal Tadka and Rice by Chef Joel D’Souza

What kind of music do you enjoy the most?

I am progressive rock aficionado. Pink Floyd, Santana, Deep Purple, Queen… And I love new age music like Karunesh, Buddha Bar, Cafe Del Mar, Enya. Growing up in the 80’s meant we had a lot of exposure for music.

Which are your favorite dishes / cuisines?

I love Indian cuisine primarily, south Indian food (Non Veg), Mexican, Italian & Cantonese.

Tell us about your venture, Crumbs To Gourmet.

Crumbs To Gourmet Food Factory is a one stop shop for all things gourmet and fine food. We deliver dishes which are big on taste while keeping our food simple, bold or quirky.

We cater to parties of 12 people to a gathering of 300. Our specialties are birthday parties for kids, pre & post wedding functions and parties, barbeque parties, cocktail parties, store and product launch events.

Baked Spiced Fish with Sarson Wale Aloo and Garlic Bread by Chef Joel D’Souza

What do you love the most about Mumbai?

The resilience in people, the whole some opportunities for all, the crazy nightlife, the plethora of eateries that fit all budgets and Bollywood.

Have you tried food from Holachef (made by another chef)? How was your experience?

We love quite a few chefs on Holachef and regularly order food for the brilliant combos, value for money and freshness of food when delivered.


Tête-à-tête with Chef Amit Gadre

Chef Amit Gadre

Chef Amit Gadre started Meal In A Pocket as a food service from his home kitchen in 2013. He specializes in freshly baked pita pockets and pita sandwiches. Chef Amit grew up in India and Canada and did an apprentice chef course at Hotel President, Mumbai (TAJ Group) under Chef Solomon. Meal-in-a-pocket has earned many accolades from far and wide for its unique offering and has been featured in various media. In this tête-à-tête, we get to peek into Amit’s life and his journey as a chef.

What inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!

As a kid, I was very fond of non-vegetarian food even though nobody else in my family enjoyed it as much. As a result, it was only cooked on Sundays and that too only chicken. However, my love for meat dishes, food in general and a desire for more variety in everyday meals inspired me to take up culinary skills and cooking as a profession.

The kitchen, to me, seems like a chemistry lab where one can do innumerable experiments with ingredients and flavors.

Which celebrity chefs do you admire the most?

I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and our very own, Vikas Khanna.

Which are your favorite films? Who / what entertains you?

Some of my all-time favorite films are Shawshank Redemption, American History X, City of Angels and animated movies. I recently watched Inside Out – what a great concept and movie!

I also love old Hindi melodies of Kishore Kumar, Rafi, RD Burman. And, of course, I am a huge Pink Floyd Fan.

Tell us about Meal-In-A-Pocket.

I previously worked in the travel industry. However, my real passion was always food/culinary. Meal In A Pocket was conceptualized in 2011 with the vision of giving healthy, easy-to-eat food because everyone is always in a hurry to get somewhere. The idea was to provide compact yet wholesome meals.

Once I figured the idea, it took me a year to plan everything in a good way. Finally, Meal In A Pocket started in 2012 as a home kitchen and I plan to always keep it a kitchenette. We provide meals (protein, salad, sauce or chutney) all stuffed in a pita pocket (bread) that we bake fresh every day. It is basically everything that you get in a wholesome meal packed in a pocket. All the credit goes to my mother for ingraining in me that one should always eat healthy and nutritious food. This reflects in all our preparations at Meal In A Pocket. For example, we use only olive oil or rice bran oil in all our cooking and we use honey as a sweetener in our smoothies.

Apple Oatmeal Smoothie by Chef Amit Gadre

Do you like to travel? What are your favorite / dream travel destinations?

I love road trips as I am very fond of driving. My most favorite travel destination are European countries for their wide variety of food. My dream destination is Australia.

What do you love the most about Mumbai?

I love Mumbai for the versatility that it offers in everything. Also, Mumbai is a place which offers a zillion opportunities in every industry. If one has the will, there is so much to be achieved.

Have you tried food from Holachef (made by another chef)? How was your experience?

Yes, I have and it has been a mind boggling experience. I have specifically liked Chef Bhakti Mehta’s food.



A Rainbow On My Plate

By Chef Radhika Ichhpuniani

The relationship between food and colour is centuries old but still unexplored. Colorful & vibrant ingredients go a long way in making our platters more appetizing, healthy and delightful. After all, we savor the food with our eyes before it reaches our palette. In fact, many times we don’t even want to try the food if it doesn’t convince us visually at first. (Yes, it’s not just kids who want visibly exciting food – it’s the adults too!)

At Rainbow Rasoi, it is our constant endeavor to make the whole experience of eating food delicious as well as stimulating. Of course, it goes without saying that we use only natural ingredients to add that extra punch to a recipe. Artificial colorings or additives are a big no-no.

Be it parmesan cheese snowflakes on penne arrabiatta, pomegranate jewels on the humble curd rice or bright green basil leaves and black olives perched on the luxurious tomato risotto – there are millions of combinations and pairings possible to make any platter stand out and shine.

How to make food colorful?

The simplest way to transform a dish into a vibrant meal is garnishing. A colorful (and edible) decoration can enhance the taste of the dish along with making it look rich and beautiful. Creative garnishing on a daily basis may seem daunting at first but if give it try, you will realize that it is almost always possible to infuse your meals with more zest and enthusiasm by using a rainbow of fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc.

From the humble pav bhaji to the elaborate penne in pesto sauce, all the dishes can be adorned with colorful toppings that enhance their presentation and how they appeal to one’s palette.

Color is good for health too!

Filling your plate with foods of multiple colors is very beneficial from a health perspective too. It ensures that you get a balanced dose of nutrition in the form of phytochemicals which occur naturally in various plants. Phytochemicals have various health benefits such as better immunity and over all well-being. If you use raw fruits and vegetables for garnish, you will automatically be gaining the health advantage associated with them.

How to bring color in daily meals?

You will certainly have to stretch beyond your usual comfort zones, find recipes & ingredients that span across cuisines, countries and definitely look past your neighborhood grocery store. More importantly, and this is the most difficult part for many of us, spend time in the kitchen cooking for yourself and your dear ones. Do not see cooking as a chore. Food nourishes us & gives us pleasure, hence it deserves special effort and attention. You will notice that when you wear your chef’s hat in the kitchen and get creative, the stratosphere is the limit.

Indulge in some colorful cooking and explore its various positive effects on your mind, body and taste buds!

About Chef Radhika Ichhpuniani

Radhika is a chartered accountant and a management graduate by profession who realized that she loves cooking food more than cooking up numbers. Born in a Punjabi family and married into a Tamilian one, she feels privileged for having been exposed to such diversity in her life and incorporates the same in her food. Having lived in Singapore, Canada and UK; she is inspired by international palettes and ingredients; and creates exotic concoctions in the kitchen. She was a sous chef in her mother’s kitchen from the age of 10 and learnt many fascinating kitchen secrets from her over the years. She has her own catering business by the name Rainbow Rasoi. As the name suggests, you will experience a vibrancy of flavors, colour, nutrition and just the right amount of olive oil in her offerings at Holachef.

A Slice of Italian History – at Holachef

India is trying to go global with food, and so are we! The emergence of Panini in the country’s food scene has invited a lot of curiosity and we decided to slice the whole bread for you.

Of Italian origin, panini (plural) or panino is referred to as a type of sandwich with a variation in the form of bread. A panini excludes using sliced bread and generally comes in different types – baguette, ciabatta and michetta or rosetta, focaccia, etc. The simple idea behind this whole invention was to have a quick meal option! If you think about it, a panino can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner or even as a snack! Assembling it is pretty smooth and if you have the right ingredients, you can prepare one in about a few minutes.

Panini – Traditional Italian Sandwich

As history suggests, panino was originally a non-toasted version which later evolved into a grilled one. And, today, we have panini grills to create a perfect one of our own. The best part is yet to come – how can we forget the stuffing? Cheese, meat, vegetables, sauces – anything one desires can go right in a panino.

At Holachef, we have made this Italian experience accessible! Chef Divyesh ensures that you have delicious snack options straight from Italy; with a variety for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Jamaican Jerk Cottage Cheese with Mushrooms Panini is quite popular amongst vegetarians – cottage cheese chunks tossed with Jamaican jerk spice mix and roasted button mushrooms, topped with vegetables, cheese and grilled in a multi-grain panini bread. Doesn’t that sound absolutely delish? For non-vegetarians, Barbecue Chicken with Caramelised Onions Panini is a big hit – and why wouldn’t it be? It has barbecued chunks of chicken tossed with caramelised onions, topped with vegetables, cheese and grilled in a multi-grain panini bread.

With the onset of multi-grain panini bread, panino is a healthy option with a stuffing that involves vegetables and roasted/grilled food. You can try one of these Italian delicacies and more delightful dishes on our daily menu at

6 Delectable South-Indian Dishes at Holachef

It can be extremely confusing yet common to see restaurants, take-away joints, etc across India serving and ‘specializing’ in South Indian and Chinese dishes exclusively. One might wonder – how that even makes sense, what sort of combination is that? But then, we are like that only.

The simplicity and flavors of South Indian food has made it a hot-favorite across the country. Idli-sambhar and masala dosa are often the most preferred breakfast options or even delicacy-lunch and dinner menus for many outside the geography of South India. Mumbai, though is more West than South, itself has a huge fan following of these common South Indian meals. Even in North India, the cuisine has evolved over the years and now you can find versions of dosas, idlis and uttapams with 3-4 different types of chutneys.

While South Indian cuisine goes much (and we can’t stress this enough) beyond Idli-Sambhar-Dosa, there are only a few dishes which have gained popularity in the mainstream Indian palette. At Holachef, Chef Ramani has been working up her magic on our daily menus with some mouth-watering South Indian meals.

Chef Ramani

Chef Ramani started experimenting with food at a very young age of 10. Her cooking experience has always been about redefining quality home-cooked food. She grew up in a household where cooking in the kitchens was not a chore, it was a celebration. Her passion for food has grown many times over since then, and now she cooks for the single most important reason- because it truly makes her happy! She is tireless when it comes to creating art in the kitchen. She brings her Andhra roots and years of experience with home-styled catering to Holachef.

Let’s explore the flavors of South India with Chef Ramani right here!

1. Kachipuram Idli

It’s your everyday steamed rice idlis with a spicy twist! The idli batter is tempered with black pepper, fresh curry leaves, asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cashew nuts, dry ginger powder, etc. Served with crispy medu vadas, sambhar and spicy red chutney! The result is a hearty platter that’s as delicious as filling!

2. Tamarind Rice

Steamed rice soaked in delicious tamarind pulp and tempered with groundnuts, curry leaves and other South Indian spices; served with medu vada, delicious coconut pachdi and papad. It’s a classic Tamillian – Iyengar dish and a staple meal for many. In Tamil, it is called Puliodharai. It’s wholesome and always leaves you asking for more!

3. Bisi Bele Bhaath

This is another classic hailing from the state of Karnataka. In Kannada language, the name Bisi-Bele-Bhaath implies hot-lentil-rice. It is originally made with an elaborate procedure that involves lentil, vegetables and spices such as curry leaves, tamarind pulp, nutmeg, asafoetida, cashews, etc along with rice being at the centre of it. Nowadays, one can find ready-made Bisi Bele Bhaath spice-mix which has made it easy for anyone to cook it in an instant. Chef Ramani, however, loves the old-school way of making it from the scratch. She serves it with vegetable raita and papad or fryums.

4. Masala Paniyarams

Another steaming hot Tamil dish made with rice and pulses batter in a mould. Based on one’s preference, paniyarams can be made sweet or spicy. They look like dumplings and are best enjoyed with chutney. Chef Ramani makes them spicy with green chilies and onions; served along with crispy medu vadas; to be enjoyed with traditional sambhar and red chutney.

5. Tawa Idli

In South Indian homes, this is the morning-after dish; meaning that one makes this dish with left-over idlis, sauteed in dry spices, onion and tomatoes. The delicious dish is enjoyed best with coconut chutney and is a sought-after snack by kids and adults alike.

Chef Ramani serves it alongside curd-rice, a staple preparation of boiled rice and yoghurt seasoned with fried urad dal, mustard seeds, green chilies and chopped cilantro to create the perfect comfort food; paired with spicy pickle and crispy fryums.

6. Curry Leaf Rice

It captures the zestful taste of fresh curry leaves. It is a a rice dish mixed with a ground masala of curry leaves, urad dal, chana dal, sesame seeds, red chilies, asafoetida, et al. Chef Ramani serves it with an authentic chutney made from coconut and crunchy papad to go on the side.

If you enjoy the Idli-Dosas and want to take your love for the South Indian food further, Holachef is the place to start!

And we almost forgot to mention – Chef Ramani’s Masala Buttermilk is a must-have! Remember to order it next time you are on