The St. Regis Hotel, Mumbai is pleased to introduce, Chef Dane Fernandes as Executive Sous Chef. In his role at the hotel, he is be responsible for all the culinary operations of ‘The Best Address’. Chef Fernandes is passionate about honing his techniques and skills while being a service-driven chef who utilizes his experience and expertise in management to promote operational excellence.
What inspired you to become a chef?
As I grew, I developed a love for the flavors that food had to offer. I soon took a keen interest in my grandmother’s cooking. I am lucky as over the years my family became my biggest support in this endeavor, considering this was an professional choice which is a little off the beaten path..
What is the one cuisine that you are most comfortable cooking?
Modern European, primarily because of the permutation and combination – I can play around with the same ingredients and be innovative every time I put on my Chef’s Hat.
Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
Ferran Adria. He was the first in the chef’s fraternity that introduced molecular gastronomy to the culinary world, thus introducing a whole new dimension.
When are you happiest at work?
I like challenges, they keep me on my toes and that’s how I like my work to be. Little things that keep me happy at work are constant innovations like reinventing the buffet set-ups to brainstorming new themes for our Sunday Brunches. Playing around with flavors, colors and creating unforeseen props for set-ups are things that always give me satisfaction at work. It gives me great satisfaction when my team enjoys the work they are doing – I feel content and happy when we all work together as a team.
What have been the key drivers for the success of your journey?
My journey has been a roller-coaster ride with multiple outlets, lots of cuisines and some really talented Chefs that have given me the emphatic way to learn in this industry. Family has been truly supportive in good times and bad. I can’t thank my team enough for their constant support. They continue to be instrumental in the growth story and I am what I am because of the team that I’ve always had.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a chef?
Think before you dive in!! With the changing demands of customers and rapid innovation one needs to be on one’s toes to remain relevant in the industry. Constant innovation and experimentation is the key to carving out a space for your-self in this ever-increasing world of food handlers. Thus, don’t join a profession just because it looks good on Instagram or on a TV reality show.
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