FOOD, FOOD, FOOD… it’s one thing which has always been my passion. Hence after doing my graduation in physics ( B.Sc.), I realised how passionate I was for food and how much I liked meeting people from different walks of life, so I had get into something which gave me satisfaction in both, and since hospitality was for people who liked people.
I got into the institute of hotel management Goa- India, to do my 3 year course in hotel management, catering technology and applied nutrition. It opened a whole wide world in what I wanted to do. It gave me lots of knowledge about the whole hospitality industry and gave me an opportunity to compete in the all India students’ chef competition, which was a very professional experience to the hotel and catering industry.
At the end of my final year I was selected by the Taj Group of hotels as a kitchen management chef trainee in their esteemed 2-year management programme, and I considered myself very lucky as I was one of the 17 students chosen that year from all over India. I travelled a lot with the Taj hotels working rigorously with the best of the chefs in the group, getting my basics more correct in cuisines like Indian, Chinese, Italian, French, Thai, and Mediterranean, doing projects and also getting the authentic taste of the food from all those regions in India.
At the end of 2 years I was posted at Taj Hotel in Bombay. It was very hectic and competitive and I loved every bit of it. Then I got a few job offers to come to England, a country which I never thought I would be in… but then I took up the job with Loch Fyne restaurant in Bath and moved to England in May 2004.
I worked there for just over a year, then I wanted to move back to hotel culture, which had been my base, so I took up a job at the country house hotel called Woolley Grange in Bradford-on-Avon. Then the need to move to a bigger city hotel I started at the Aztec Hotel and Spa in December 2005. I worked at the Aztec Hotel until 2011 as the Senior Sous and also did part time teaching at the city of Bristol college, which I was enjoying as I taught one day a week.
I then moved to my next role as the Head Chef at BBC Wales Roath Lock filming studio (Cardiff) in August 2011 to March 2012, and then took a full-time job as a lecturer at the City of Bristol College and part time job with the Bristol Hotel and Tortworth Court Hotel, which I am still doing.
Where did you learn your skills/culinary education?
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET)
- City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (TAQA) (Apr 2013)
- 3 Year Diploma in Hotel Management from Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition, GOA- INDIA (1998-2001)
- Bachelor of Science in Physics (BSc) from Demphe College of Arts and Science, Goa University, GOA – INDIA (1995-98)
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Food is a universal language and being a chef, you can travel the world in researching and learning more for your passion. When you cook for others and the joy and satisfaction you see on their faces is priceless and that’s the best part of it.
Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
It is very difficult to choose a particular dish when you always cook from the heart…. But love to cook Goan dishes that have a very strong Portuguese influence specially the Pork Vindaloo. I also love to entertain friends with the great Indian curries, Indo-Chinese dishes and the exciting tapas style food dishes.
How do you come up with new dishes?
Been chef at heart and now teaching and lecturing the future generations of chefs at the college, there is always a need to keep myself up to date with the latest trends, as I always want to do something new and exciting to keep the interest of the students up. As I still do some work at the Bristol Hotel and Tortworth Court Hotel, it keeps me in my zone for creative thinking in introducing new food to learn.
Who was your greatest influence?
“My Mother” … always have been and always will be, as her style of cooking and the dishes she can cook from anything that is given to her is always been exceptional and well executed to cook a feast that always scores full marks.
What is your favourite cookbook?
Larousse is always been my start up bible along with culinaria series and then have enjoyed books from some amazing chefs like Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Romy Gill along the way.