The Elite Club of Chefs des Chefs

In the days before Google burst upon the scene, I used to have a Dutch friend who was the second violinist in the National Philharmonic Orchestra in The Hague. He once recounted a hilarious story of an elderly Russian conductor who came to conduct a concert with the Dutch orchestra and needed to rehearse for…

Chef Raymond Sim

The infamous cuisine known variously as Indian-Chinese or Sino-Ludhianvi is not alone in the world. It is but part of a continuum that extends all over the world, except in China itself. Chinese cuisine is not only the most popular choice worldwide, but has the inbuilt capacity to adapt itself to local tastes. Don’t believe…

Chef Raymond Sim – Crab Tales

It´s the norm that most hotels have expatriate chefs that arrive on two-year contracts. Some contracts are renewed once, which means that the chef stays with the hotel for four years. So, what would you say about a chef who has been with one hotel for an astonishing 15 years? That chef is Raymond Sim…

Manish Mehrotra goes to Tel Aviv

Mustard oil Haakh Jaggery Banarasi aloo papad Sabudana papad Kolhapuri masala Whole aamchur Any guesses what these ingredients could be doing in Chef Manish Mehrotra’s diminutive office at Indian Accent? They’re getting ready to be shipped to Tel Aviv where Mehrotra is getting set to participate in a food festival. As festivals go, this one…

The Austerity of Maharashtrian Food

Don’t underestimate Chef Prakash Pawaskar of Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai. In the outwardly unassuming Executive Sous Chef lurks a connoisseur of the cuisine of Maharashtra in all its Spartan glory. Pawaskar’s links with the food of his home state go back to the time of Shivaji as a matter of fact: his father-in-law, from the…

The Kashmir Book Shop

The Kashmir Book Shop In the heyday of tourism in Kashmir, books were the last thing that visitors thought of buying. The 1970s and ‘80s were when silk carpets and woollen shawls constituted the main shopping of the tens of thousands of tourists that holidayed in the Valley. So, the two bookshops that stood opposite…

Fat Guyy

The genial patissier, Chef Nitin Upadhyay, was always pleasantly plump and when he thought of opening his very own patisserie, the obvious name he thought of was Fat Guyy. It does call to mind a roly-poly baker, surrounded by couverture, croissants and cookies all wafting delicious fragrances from the oven. However, so stressful was the…

Rohit Aggarwal: The Trekking Caterer

“I am a failed trekking caterer”, Rohit Aggarwal of Lite Bite Foods tells me, with a woebegone look on his face. I assume he is joking, and guffaw appreciatively. After all, he and Lite Bite partner Amit Burman are among the three largest players in the restaurant industry currently in India, with no private equity…

Chef Vittorio Greco

He hails from, not one country, but two, and both are in different hemispheres. Chef Vittorio Greco may have been born in the North of Tuscany, but what shaped his culinary style was his move to Brisbane, Australia, where he cooked for a largely non-Italian audience. His live-wire energy is his defining feature, and in…