Chef of the Week: Ashwani Rangta, Executive Chef at GupShup in Hale, Manchester

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Gupshup has just celebrated its 3rd birthday.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My love for food in general was the main reason why I became a chef. I learned my skills with award-winning restaurants of ITC Hotels in India.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Every day is a challenge. Learning and inventing is the core of my job. This is what makes it so special.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt , ginger garlic paste and homemade spice mix.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My knife.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Go green and veganism.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Trying to please everyone… always control the controllable.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Every time I am with my friends and family cooking or dining out is the best time of the year. The season does not matter, good company does!

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?

How do you come up with new dishes?
Through my dishes I always want to tell a story which everyone can relate to and can be touched upon. The dish should be touched upon by all the senses equally.

Hence I choose my ingredients according to season. Philosophy of Locavore is very important. The canvas, the plate, is a very key component of the entire story .

Lots of cooking and tasting is done before the dish reaches its final phase of taste and flavour.

Who was your greatest influence?
Chef Gaurav Singh.

Tell us three chefs you admire.

What is your favourite cookbook?

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Chef Michael Shaw at Musu in Manchester.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Musu in Manchester.