Executive Sous Chef Raghuram Reddy

President, Mumbai - IHCL SeleQtions

Chef Raghuram is the Executive Sous chef at Vivanta by Taj- President, Mumbai and had started his association with the Taj Hotels in 2003 at Taj Banjara. The most recent feather in his cap was being a part of the special Chefs team from India who whipped up stunning dishes for world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year.

His food philosophy is respecting the simplicity and authenticity of an ingredient. If there is a technique which has to be followed, he ensures that it is done the same way.

He had the privilege of cooking for the most eminent personalities like Mr. Ratan Tata, Prime minister Narendra Modi and  Sachin Tendulkar to name a few.

Q & A with Executive Sous Chef Raghuram Reddy

1. The main influences that made me interested in food and cooking as a career.

I always had a thing for cooking and the vibes I used to get from the kitchen always enthralled me. I very well remember my childhood days, during summer holidays when all my friends where busy playing in the field, I used to dive into the kitchen and experiment with ingredients. I think those times actually got me inclined to cooking and made me what I am today.

2. My earliest memory in the kitchen ...

As I said, in my childhood when I used to experiment in kitchen and had fun with my mom and grand mom. Somewhere I always felt that moms are the best chefs,"maa ko hamesha jada pata hota hai"

3. My favourite dish from childhood ...

There are so many of them, In fact it’s almost impossible to name one.

4. My favourite dish to cook...

My favourite dish would be as simple as a Rassam, Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this dish. In fact it is this simplicity which makes it challenging. It is all about the right balance, the right spice mix and the right consistency. It’s very easy to lose the essence of a simple dish.

5. A cuisine that I want to learn...

I have always been passionate about learning & experimenting with regional Indian cuisines. Having worked in different cities, I think our country has so much to offer compared to any other place in the world.

It is disheartening to see so many young chefs wanting to  venture into western cuisine but neglecting their native dishes.

6. My secret to great food...

My philosophy about food lies in its simplicity and authenticity. If there is a technique which has to be followed, I make sure that it is done the same way. As I said earlier there are loads yet to be discovered in every cuisine especially in India.

7. The last cookbook I bought...

I recently bought a book called Benares by  chef Atul kochhar.

8. A culinary show or movie that I love to watch...

There is a movie called "The hundred-foot journey" based on a novel by the same name written by Richard C Morais. This movie left a lasting impression on me, it showed the amount of passion and hard work that actually goes into making of a chef.

9. In my free time, I would like to...

I am a big sports fan, most of my free time usually ends up in front of the television. I also do try to spend some quality time with my daughters.

10. My guilty pleasure...

A packet of crisps, my favourite drink and a game of football on television.

11. I will describe my restaurant/hotel to a first time guest.

Vivanta by Taj – President, Mumbai, for a new guest will come across as a mélange of cuisines. It is the place to be if one loves authentic dining experiences. From specialty Thai to coastal Konkan, we have something for everyone.

12. 4-5 personal tips that I would like share...

Few tips that I would like share for the budding chefs.

  • Learn as much as you can and work hard.
  • Fancy stuffs are good but first learn the basics first and then the plate will become your canvas.
  • I would urge all the budding chefs to try and venture into the unknown, try out new cuisines, learn and use new cooking technique. Keep your spirit of learning alive. That's the only way you can grow.
  • And don't forget to have fun.