With 21 years of experience in this industry, here is a short synopsis of my culinary journey and my achievements.
My journey started in 2002 with Hyatt regency Kolkata as a preopening team member. 2007 saw me at Ritz-Carlton in US followed by their Shanghai property. There on I moved to the J W Marriott group for a longer stint.
Working with brands like Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and J W Marriott at different parts of the world enabled me to lead a diversified group.
In this journey of mine spanning over the last 21 years, I have curated meals for diplomats, Noteworthy being the first Lady President of India Pratibha Patil, Serving Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Ex President of USA Barak Obama.
My philosophy behind the food I cook is the experience that I create for my client. For me the success of my curated dish is the emotion that the guest experiences with the first bite.
1. The main influences that made me interested in food and cooking as a career
I always wanted a career that satisfied my soul. Coming from a Bengali family where one is a foodie and knows their fish, I knew that food production is where my interests are. A perfect balance between work and creative fun.
During my school day I would often watch in awe the road side vendors chopping vegetables with such precision. While these vendors had no formal degree, their talent was very inspiring.
Summer breaks saw me helping my mom prepare pickles to see us thru the monsoons. Later on in my adult life I tried making them but never got that right – which made me realise, love and care as ingredients are irreplaceable.
My growing interest in spices further motivated me to join culinary school.
2. My earliest memory in the kitchen
Peeling 200 kg of potato by hand and later realised there was Potato peeler kept on the side.
3. My favourite dish from childhood
Anything and everything my mother cooked, singling out one is difficult.
4. My favourite dish to cook
Roasting or pork crackling with burnt onion and apple chutney is one of my favourite dish which always stands out from others recipes of mine. Crackling skin of a roast pork with soft and tender meat is always a hot cake.
5. A cuisine that I want to learn
Japanese and French cuisine
6. My secret to great food
For me, local and seasonal produce is the secret for great food.
Use of locally grown seasonal product and eating right is my secret to great food. “GO LOCAL” a big shootout to our local farmers and vendors.
There was a time when our industry preferred to buy resources with additional cost from outside and was happy to call it “IMPORTED”. With time people have understood the health benefits associated with local and seasonal growth. We have so much product in our neighbourhood which we are still unaware of.
7. A culinary show or movie that I love to watch
Drama and emotion at every phase – my own kitchen show.
8. In my free time, I would like to
Accompanying my wife and kids where ever they want to go.
9. My guilty pleasure
Having warm chocolate fudge with a scoop of ice cream at 2 am in the morning.