Executive Chef N Gopi
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa
I am from Chennai, have started with Taj Group of Hotels – Taj Mahal Mumbai in 2001 as a trainee (Zodiac Grill) and Taj President (Thai Pavilion and Trattoria) and have done assignments with various Taj Group in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai and specialised in Western and Asian as that interested me.
First Executive position in Brisbane, Australia at the Heritage Park Hotels as a pre-opening chef in 2008 and since the hotel was located at the banks of the ocean, the concept was mostly live kitchens concepts, fresh catch concept, and the bay view lounge.
Joined Hyatt International in 2010 as Chef De Cuisine (responsible for Events, setting up of commissary and butchery, STIX – Chinese speciality restaurant) and eventually became Executive Sous chef. Was transferred to Hyatt Regency Kathmandu as Executive chef for 3 years, then to Hyatt Regency Mumbai, transferred to Hyatt Regency Kochi Malayattoor resort (first Hyatt’s forest resort) as head of food & beverage to create concepts. Transferred to Hyatt Regency Pune, Hyatt Regency Gurgaon both as heading Food and Beverage. Have been with Hyatt International for 12 years.
Have done total of 11 pre-opening projects (including restaurants and hotels) – Taj Blue Diamond’s Whispering bamboos as that was my first pre-opening project as a Commis, and Heritage Park pre-opening hotel as first assignment as Executive chef abroad.
Q & A with Executive Chef N Gopi
- The main influences that made me interested in food and cooking as a career
Chefs are all about creation, skills, and personality. These skills shall never come to an end and creativity shall always be existing. The pride in the chef’s coat and the confident when we meet the guests. Guests engagement and creating experiences and meeting so many various people, ensuring the taste buds are being satisfied.
- My earliest memory in the kitchen
The memories are created when we cook for the best of the best personalities.
When I prepared food for Mr. Ratan Tata, Excellency Shri Modi, Late Mr. Abdul Kalam, Late Excellency Pranab Mukherjee,
when I was the personalised chef for Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, vishwanath Anand, Magnus Carlson
when I was competing a competition with “Australian Master Chef fame” Chef Gary Mehigan on the topic called “Who Grills Whom” are few great evergreen memories
- My favourite dish from childhood
My grandmother’s spicy fish curry using red snapper which she prepares in a mud pot, and my mom’s sambhar, spicy egg fry / potato fry, rasam and steamed rice and of course mutton biryani
- My favourite dish to cook
Western and Asian – Italian sauces with steaks or lamb and plating and Asian’s selection of fish and stir fry
- A cuisine that I want to learn
“May hay while the sun shine” and learning never stops – would like to learn Goan cuisine which is under process now
- My secret to great food
The very first lesson when I wore my chef’s jacket and my mom’s words “Whatever or for whomever you making the food, make food by heart, so the food tastes the best as you are not feeding the stomach but the soul and God lives there”.
- A culinary show or movie that I love to watch
Hell’s kitchen – an all-time favourite
- In my free time, I would like to
Trekking and mountaineering (have done Everest ranges twice – Everest base camp and Mardi Himal summit), Biking any sort (I have done mountain biking of 2400 metre high), Any sort of adventurous activities and photography, Playing lawn tennis
- My guilty pleasure
I am a sweet tooth and hog on desserts, however burn it out in my work outs and tennis