‘The demand for home-cooked food is on the rise’

I do enjoy cooking at home because it gives me an opportunity to cook simple comfort food, which is quite different from that of a commercial kitchen.

Published: 01st June 2019 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2019 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: What’s your most favourite ingredient to work with?
I truly enjoy the amalgamation of distinct flavours and textures coming together; so, it’s hard for me to pick a single ingredient that stands out. I love to work with local and fresh ingredients.
If I had to pick my favourite, it would be seasonal fresh produce. I am passionate about healthy food, especially creating dishes for those with dietary restrictions, because today, the average corporate traveller is looking to enjoy his meal guilt-free and work efficiently at the same time.

If you weren’t a chef, what would have been your alternate career option?
If I wasn’t a chef, I would have liked to be a professional cricketer! I enjoy watching cricket even now, and like most kids, I would have loved to play for the country. With the World Cup 2019 around the corner, I’m really excited to join my friends for a wonderful season of 
cricket madness.

Do you also cook at home? If no, why?
I do enjoy cooking at home because it gives me an opportunity to cook simple comfort food, which is quite different from that of a commercial kitchen. It gives me the opportunity to experiment and adopt new techniques of home cooking, which can also be replicated in the commercial kitchen.
Today, the demand for home-cooked food is on the rise and we need to look into the aspect of people preferring home food over 
hotel food.

Do you give cooking tips to the women in your house? How do they react?
No, definitely not; my mom is an amazing cook and she is actually the reason I love food. Sharing cooking tips with my wife is a bit of a risky thing to do, however, she has some dishes that she excels at.

What are your hobbies, apart from cooking?
I really enjoy biking and going on long cross-country rides. Apart from this, I love painting, and of course watching and playing cricket. 

Do you watch cooking shows/ reality shows? If yes, which shows and contestants are your favourites?
No, I don’t watch cooking shows. I would much rather spend my leisure time watching sports or riding my bike, travelling across the country to learn about new cuisines.

What’s your family’s most favourite dish that you prepare?
My family always enjoys my cooking, but the most requested dish and the one that I prepare most often is a delicious prawn malai curry with 
fragrant pulao rice.

If it were your last day on earth, where and what would you love to eat?
I would relish sukto, which is a Bengali vegetable dish, and rice, but it has to be prepared by my mother and enjoyed with my close family.

What’s been your worst/funniest kitchen incident?
A funny incident which comes to my mind, is when I was once cooking a Bengali-style rice kheer for a special evening and the recipe had sugar in it. I asked one of my kitchen trainees to measure and bring 250 grams of castor sugar, and he was very quick to get the same.

I was overseeing something else, so I asked him to add it in the kheer and stir it well. With a lot of energy and enthusiasm, he did it, then when I tasted, it was a disaster!
Turns out, by mistake, he got salt instead of castor sugar. At the last moment, we had to improvise and change the dessert.

- Avijit Deb Sharma, executive chef, Ibis and Novotel Bengaluru Outer Ring Road

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