Goodness Loaded: Rishim Sachdeva
Throw some light on the concept of your debut show, Fit & Fast - Fuel Your Brain. What made you choose this show as your television debut?
It was the concept that made me choose this show as my TV debut. Plus Living Foodz was a great platform being a leading lifestyle channel. There is a lot of information available around, on how to stay fit, but brain health often gets ignored. So we wanted to really dive deep down and pick up everyday ingredients that promote mental health. The show includes various superfood-heroes, some traditional and others slightly more new-age, all of which have been carefully selected. It takes viewers through a holistic journey towards fuelling the brain with recipes, specially curated for the mind.
How can we achieve mental fitness via food? Does our method of cooking also play a role?
Yes, we can. We are what we eat. Incorporating minor changes to your food habits may go a long way in achieving brain health. Consuming the right ingredients at the right time is the key to a healthy, active, and alert mind. Cooking techniques help you create the best from the ingredients you have at hand. The goal is to extract the best flavour from humble ingredients and work with them, in order to create the best version possible. My vision is to keep food simple and fresh. The bottom line is food should taste good and wholesome.
The relationship between the man behind the cooking and the eatery is inseparable. According to you, does the restaurant make the chefs, or do the chefs make the restaurant?
Both go hand in hand. Chefs need to understand the business aspect and the restaurateur needs to be on-board with the chef’s perspective, which involves encouraging the creativity and simplicity of the cook.
Masters of the cookery world often end up writing books with the aim of sharing their cooking experiences and techniques. Are you planning one too?
Many share their journey, but I believe that it is a little too early for me. Some share recipes, which I don’t believe in. But few like me are really good at teaching how to cook. So yes, I am also working on a book that does exactly the same.
After learning a wide array of cuisines from across the world; Spain, Vietnam, France, and London for 16 years, you are back home in India. According to you, what sets Indian cooking apart from the world?
India as a country is blessed with all the seasons. Our demographics are so varied, from coastal regions where the seafood is in abundance to the desert, which is home to some incredible cactus recipes; going up to extreme weathers where preservation is the way to survive. All of this put together really sets us apart. The vast array of flavours we present as a country is an inviting opportunity. The minute you feel that you know Indian food, that’s the time to pack your bags and travel across the country to delve deeper into the hyper-local cuisines and explore. This exploration provides you with a fresh perspective of how rich and diverse our food habits, ingredients, and methods are.
Lastly, what is more, important while experimenting with cooking techniques; maintaining the authenticity or putting your own mark on it?
Every person, chef or not needs to find their own distinctive style. Being a chef, that mark should be present in his or her food. Techniques can be learnt, flavours can be developed, but it is the individual style and their love for what they do which sets the tone.