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.
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.