Chef's secret: Vicky Ratnani
What drives you as a culinary artist?
As humans we will never stop eating. My love for eating and cooking for others, to make them happy and healthy is one of the main thing that drives me as a chef. I always say, I am in the business of making people happy. My passion is to create; I am inspired by people, colours and textures. Food
therefore, is the medium with which I express myself.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a chef?
I enrolled myself into a hotel management school with the objective of pursuing the management side of hospitality. However, the passion for food
and cooking overpowered my original idea and I decided to opt for the culinary journey. Thanks to all the motivation from my teachers, I am where I am today.
In the past, there was this perception that there is no such thing as fine dining as far as Indian cuisine is concerned. That perception, however, has been done away within the last decade. What are your comments on that?
There is a misconception regarding fine dining. It is a essentially a style of service, place, ambience and presentation which makes it ‘fine’ The food itself rarely has anything to do with it. You can go as rustic and comfortable while serving Indian food, it still will be ‘haute’ as. I am glad that Indian restaurants are no longer treated as curry houses. Our cuisine is aspirational to cook and eat around the world, and I strongly believe it always was.
The perspective of the world has evolved to recognise this now.
In the global framework, where do you see Indian culinary arts heading in 2019? What Indian trends do you feel will become mainstream in the global scenario?
Regional Indian dishes and cuisines will take the limelight. Tribal cooking, consequently will be looked at, like never before. The concept of farm to table will also gain mass appeal. Along with that, in 2019, we will experiment a lot with fermented foods, pickling and brining as elements of a dish.
What has been your most memorable meal?
It was at the Blue Hill Farms, in upstate New York. They organised a bread course which was served in a barn with two kinds of hand churned butter from their own farm reared cows. It was a one of a kind experience.