You are well known for experimenting and improvising with various flavours and cooking styles. Where do you take inspiration from when developing a new dish?
The inspiration comes from the people whom you cook for. If you create something, and it is appreciated from the heart; that is the biggest inspiration for me to create something new. Most dishes that I prepare here at Novotel Imagica Khopoli are inspired from the local flavours, blended with modern cooking methods.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
I started my culinary journey in Mumbai; a city with a unique blend of cuisines, yet still attached to its local Mumbai flavours. From there, I moved to Goa, a place full of flavours, spices and seafood. My experience there impacted my style of cooking to a great extent. Initially, my style of cooking developed from what my mother taught me. She cooked food with her heart; and no matter how simple the ingredients, they were always fresh. I adopted this as my style, which is simple and fresh flavours, made from the heart, and cooked using modern culinary techniques.
Is there a secret to a successful restaurant?
My secret would be excellent taste, quality ingredients, and effective marketing.
After 15 years in the culinary industry, what has been your most challenging feat, yet?
Working in a kitchen is challenging in itself, with new experiences every day, and the pressure to be spot on. In metros, people need a break from their day-to-day routine; away from their corporate role, going out with friends and experimenting with new flavours is what spices up their bored life. That is where we chefs play a bridging role between happiness and the mundane life.
You specialise in Seafood and Nouvelle Western cuisine. Do you have a favourite dish that you enjoy cooking?
I love cooking and eating a well made steamed sea bass, with lemon and chillies.
If you could invite any three people for dinner, who would they be, and why?
I would like to invite Chef Hemant Oberoi, Chef Ananda Solomon, and Chef Imtiaz Qureshi. That is because when I started my journey, they were the people who were pioneers and inspirations in the culinary field in India, and still remain to this day.
Any advice that you would give to someone who wants to become a chef?
First, get yourself trained in a good culinary school. Moreover, you need to be creative in all that you prepare, while also being able to work in high-stress environment; able to accept criticism, and most importantly, have a desire