“One evening, some friends and I were sitting and having cocktails and eating snacks and the conversation turned to the kinds of accompaniments, and there was such a variety of non-vegetarian snacks. That’s when it struck me: when it comes to quick snacks, vegetarians don’t have much of a choice beyond aloo and paneer items,” recalls Ankush Myint, 32, who would then go on to start Myints Foods, along with Ashok Bansal and Dinesh Murthy; a New Delhi based brand that has developed vegetarian Pan-Asian ready-to-heat appetisers and accompaniments along with a selection of sauces and dips.
Hailing from Port Blair, Ankush, the half-Punjabi, half-Burmese descendant of career hoteliers saw his family’s award-winning restaurant and other businesses get washed away along with so much else on the Andaman Islands during the devastation of the 2008 Indian Ocean tsunami. His father, a former Taj employee, had started China Room, in the late 1980’s, which became a fixture on the Port Blair culinary scene, until the tsunami hit. “We lost everything, given that we were located right on the beach. My mom and I had to come and remake a home in Delhi, where she had some relatives.”
Though he had been helping out at his dad’s vaunted beachside restaurant since childhood, Myint went on to further hone his skills by training professionally as a chef and mixologist abroad as well as working with some of the Capital’s leading eateries and cafes. He hopes to bring that range of culinary and backend operations experience to Myints Foods, which has been incorporated under Kancha Cheena Foods Pvt Ltd. “Growing up, because of my east Asian roots, everyone from friends to strangers would call me by those names, so I thought why not own it, now that I am opening my own company?” laughs Myint.