Signature Dish(es) :-Shammi bun
Favourite Restaurant(s) :-Quay
Favourite Dessert(s) :-Anything with single origin chocolate
Favourite Drink(s) :-Alcoholic : Negroni Non Alcoholic : Lassi
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.
ABOUT Dane Fernandes | Executive Sous Chef | The St. Regis Mumbai |
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.
Having joined The St. Regis, Mumbai in March 2017, Chef Fernandes spent a year as the Chef de Cuisine of Banquets and Events where he oversaw kitchen operations in commercial and private kitchens, before moving into his role as the Executive Sous Chef. At The St. Regis Mumbai, he is responsible for ensuring menus in each outlet are distinctive, experiential and exciting in its offerings, involved in hiring, training and supervising culinary associates, overseeing food quality, sourcing fresh and local ingredients while ensuring quality and costs are at under control. Under his purview, are a team of 138 persons with 5 venues and mammoth banquets operations spanning the beautiful Astor Ballroom and allied venues that run busy through the year.
In the past, he has worked at Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace hotel for nine years, where he joined as a Hotel Operations Management Trainee and moved up to become the Head Chef, Banquets. His portfolio also includes training at some of the country’s leading luxury hotels like The Oberoi and The Hilton Towers, Mumbai; The Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mumbai; and Cidade de Goa, Goa.
Having derived his inspiration for this profession from his grandparents and mother, Chef Fernandes followed his passion by graduating in Tourism and Hotel Management from Madurai Kamraj University. He is also armed with a Diploma in Chef Management from the Academy of Culinary Education (ACE) in Goa. He is proficient in culinary art, menu development, event planning and catering, and boasts a thorough knowledge of ISO 22000 criteria & JD Audit Guidelines and their adherence in the kitchen. His versatility combined with leadership skills and the ability to remain calm in a chaotic environment ensures he has all the makings for success.
A few of his other accolades include heading the banquets for the Make in India event in Mumbai in 2016 as well as being part of the catering team for the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010. He has also been a part of the catering team at the World Economic Forum, 2016 in Davos, Switzerland. A little known fact is that he represented Mahindra United in 2003, under 19 in football and still enjoys knocking a ball about during his days off. In his spare time, he also dabbles in photography, listening to music and traveling with his family.