'Not a Fusion Fan as Authenticity of its Original Flavours is Lost'

Jacob Justin, the new head chef at Courtyard by Marriott has been working for over 15 years in the culinary industry talks to City Express about his culinary journey...

Published: 05th May 2016 03:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2016 04:13 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: It began when I was in Class 6...I was peeling a garlic. (smiling) Hailing from Vellore, I of course had an inclination towards tangy dishes and I used to love tamarind rice and tomato chutney that my mother would make. Intrigued by the punch of flavours induced by simple spices, I decided to make my own tomato chutney and that remains my favourite dish till date.  Though I did not decide to become a chef, the path had already been laid and dare I say, it was destiny! Enjoying what my mother cooked, eating her dishes, helping her cook and shop for vegetables are my fondest childhood memories – all of them are to do with food and kitchen.

Not a Fusion Fan.jpgWell, after college, I took up hotel management and started my career as a professional chef in 2002 with The Park. Though I started out as a pastry chef, I gained the experience of working in all kitchens. I also travelled to Dubai for a while where I learnt more about the nuances of confectionary and baking. After I got back, the other pastry chefs and I created a variety of desserts in Courtyard by Marriott.

Till today, my life revolves around food and travel. I move to different cities and explore the dishes, spices and ingredients.

I have very fond memories of my time in Ahmedabad; I fell madly in love with their flavours! I would explore every street and taste every possible dish — from khandvi to undhiyu and more. I also love Kerala cuisine because of the use of coconut oil and Andhra food for its spicy and tangy taste. Coming to my specialisation, it is a popular misconception that pastry/dessert chefs have a sweet tooth but I don’t. In fact I don’t eat sweets at all except an occasional indulgence in gulab jamun with ice cream or chocolate. 

Though I experiment with food, I personally feel that it can spoil the individuality of a dish. Until I am satisfied with the taste and flavour of a dish, I would never serve.

Top 5 Dishes

Beef Ulathiyathu (Kerala Cuisine)

Ulavucharu (Andhara Cuisine)

Ambur Biriyani

Lemon rice

Stir fried vegetable/chicken (Oriental)

 

Dishes For La Familia

Prawn biriyani

Roast chicken

Roti and rice

Renndang chicken/lamb (Thai oriental dish)

Beef Ulathiyathu (Kerala Cuisine)

Ulavucharu (Andhara Cuisine)

Ambur Biriyani

Lemon rice

Stir fried vegetable/chicken (Oriental)

 

Dishes For La Familia

Prawn biriyani

Roast chicken

Roti and rice

Renndang chicken/lamb (Thai oriental dish)

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