CHENNAI: My passion for food, cooking and the kitchen began when I was really young. My uncle is from the culinary industry and he used to take me to the kitchen. That fueled my passion. But I cooked my first dish when I was 19.
It was during a practical session at the Coromandal Institute of Hotel Management, Vishakapatnam. We were asked to make steamed rice for evaluation and that was the first dish that I ever cooked. It wasn’t great though…but steamed rice and fish curry is what we survived on in college (laughing).
My mother never used to allow me inside the kitchen as she was worried about the mess I would make. So, I never got a chance to help her until I became a professional chef. Peeling vegetables and setting the plate at home are memories I still cherish. While most people consider their mothers to be the best cook, I personally think that my father was a better cook (smiling). Observing him help my mother in cooking pushed me further to take this up as a serious profession.
I am one of those people who does not have a favourite dish. I love exploring, experimenting and fusing dishes. Here at Radisson Blu GRT, I have come up with over 125 fusion dishes along with my team. Square burgers, Watermelon feta salad (on a block of salt), chocolate mousse (with olive oil and a salt base) are some of my signature dishes. Fish curry and vegetable biriyani are dishes that I whip up for friends and family.
My passion for perfection drives me to consistently produce all types of cuisines to enhance any dining experience. My Indian background gives me awareness of the importance of a wholesome and healthy selection of dishes.
Plating a dish and ingredients used while making the dish are very important. My ‘hero’ ingredient is lamb and salmon. But, unfortunately we don’t get high quality lamb in India. We have to import it from Dubai or Europe. The freshness and the shelf life of some ingredients differ and we have to make sure that they are picked wisely!
I am currently working on molecular gastronomy, where we use liquid nitrogen to give food a new twist. My love affair with food is never ending and all I want to do is innovate, recreate and fuse dishes.
Chocolate mousse with olive oil (on a salt base)
Cold Dhokla with hot Channa (Infused in liquid nitrogen gas)
Beer-battered fish and chips
Chicken Salad with avocado kosambari (Indo-Thai dish)
Food for the family
Chicken/vegetable biriyani for my wife
Fish curry for my father