BENGALURU : What’s your most favourite ingredient to work with?
I love citrus, all kinds! Citrus bring balance and acidity to dishes, they help highlight the flavours of the ingredients and are very versatile.
If not chef, what would have been your alternate career option?
I would probably have been a musician. I studied classic guitar all my childhood, then fell in love with jazz and played bass. Music and cooking are connected somehow and still very important in my life.
Do you also cook at home? If no, why?
I love to cook at home. It is a great way to relax and chill. I love going to the market and get inspired by what is available to create a nice meal for my family.
Do you give cooking tips to your mother and/or wife? How do they react?
I try not to! As a chef, we work in very specific ways to maximise the time and minimize the amount of work! My mum and wife are great cooks but they have their own way of doing things! Better don’t get involved!!!
What are your hobbies, apart from cooking?
I love spending time with my son, listening to music and photography.
Do you watch cooking shows/reality shows? If yes, which shows and contestants are your favourites?
I am not a big fan of cooking shows as I don’t think it reflects real life in a kitchen. However, I have recently watched the The Final Table and it was a great show: pros cooking for pros! I also enjoy documentaries about inspiring chefs.
What’s your family’s most favourite dish that you prepare?
We like it simple! My wife is Asian and so I always try to surprise her with some dishes that would remind her of home! For example, hand-made dumplings.
What’s been your worst/funniest kitchen incident?
When I was a young chef, I once fell in a big bucket of pig blood that we were using to make sausages! It was in the fridge and I didn’t see it! When I came out, the chef almost had a heart attack as he thought I injured myself.
Any famous personalities you’d like to cook for? Why them? What would you cook for them?
I would love to cook for Daniel Humm, Alain Ducasse, Yannick Alleno! These are chefs I look up to for their creativity and philosophy.
(Chef Raphael, Chef de Cuisine, Silvester’s, Guest Chef at JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru.)