BENGALURU : When are you happiest at work?
I try to stay happy at all times, I strongly believe in doing what you love and loving what you do, If I am happy in the kitchen that will ultimately reflect in the food I create.
What was your biggest disappointment as a chef?
I do not have any biggest disappointment as such, because I do not linger on the past or if I do, it motivates me to do better. Also not getting fresh and good ingredients and a bad service is disappointing, I have been told that I do not take failure well!
What trends are you noticing regarding wine and food pairings?
The wine should be more acidic than the food, it should be sweeter, and should have the same flavour intensity as the food. Red wines pair best with bold flavoured meats (e.g. red meat) while white wines pair best with light-intensity meats (e.g. fish or chicken).Organic wines are in trend these days.
What do you always avoid ordering on a menu?
Any dish in which the ingredients are not sourced locally. I am a big fan of go-local and sustainable ingredients so I want to order food that is made of locally grown ingredients.
Of the dishes you prepare, which one would you never eat yourself? Why?
There are many dishes, which I prepare but I don’t like to have. Berry Sable, Berry Pannacotta, Berry crumble cake are a few of them. I am not a fan of berries and any dish which uses berries as their base ingredient is a big no-no for me.
Which is your favourite restaurant? What would you prefer to eat there?
CHA CHA CHAR in Brisbane is my favourite restaurant. They have wood fire steaks and the best of Tasmanian wagyu selections. Also I would prefer to eat their beef Tartare and wood fired sausages which is my all-time favourite.
Describe one incident when you messed up a recipe real bad.
To be honest, I’m not an avid recipe follower. I cook food from my heart, I would not say I am the best cook but yes, whatever I cook meets with appreciation and value of work. While doing that I have messed up many times in these years.
When I was a section cook and getting lot of tasks at a time, one tends to miss on certain things, which are burnt or overcooked. One such incident was when I was working in fish section at a cruise line, I had to prepare lobster for 5,000 guests. It was all set and ready to go but at the time of serving we realised it was over marinated and extra salty. It still gives me goose bumps.
What is the best recent food trend?
Best food trend for now and in coming future is vegan food, sustainable and organic farming, locally-produced and the pickling of ingredients. Millennials are avoiding meat and falling for locally farmed and organic produce rather than for some fancy looking stuff.
– Sandeep Kumar, executive chef, Renaissance Race Course Hotel