What inspired you to become a chef?
I was born in a Punjabi household where food is considered as important as religion. Food instincts came quite early naturally to me as my family was driven by two food enthusiasts i.e. my mother and my grandmother. My mother was a physical education teacher at a school, so our day used to begin quite early. I remember the way she used to pack a wholesome yummy lunch for me. Being a working woman she used to keep everyone happy, be it with meals or any other support. I was always thrilled with her managing and planning skills. Thus I was very inspired by her and of course her cooking. She would make me sit on the kitchen slab and cook meals, introduce me to spices, ingredients and talk about cooking healthy meals. As a kid I had made up my mind, that I would become a Chef and here I am today. At an early age of 8, I remember I could cook aloo Gobi. So, honestly there were no other career deviations for me than to become a Chef.
What is the one cuisine that you are most comfortable cooking?
I really enjoy cooking Indian and Thai cuisine as it involves distinctive and very interesting cooking techniques and whole range of flavorsome ingredients.
When are you happiest at work?
As a chef, it gives me immense satisfaction when the guests are happy and relish the food we prepare. As a team leader, I am the happiest when I see young chefs and team experimenting and using creativity in food. For us being in the profession, our energies and thoughts should constantly flow and create something new. Creativity gives me immense happiness.
What have been the key drivers for the success of your journey?
Keep learning from your mistakes and move on. As a Chef, you see things in such a way that it gives you an ideas and inspires you to turn it into a dish. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the times inspiration comes from your day-to-day life, so keep on doing new things, learn from every source possible.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a chef?
You really need to be sure of what you are getting into. It’s not as glamorous as it is seen on television. Passion, self-motivation and right attitude will help you grow further. You need to be hands on cooking, know your basics well and keep on honing your skills whenever you get an opportunity.
Who do you love cooking for the most?
Guest who bestow trust on me and tell me to get what I like.
Which is your favorite home cooked food?
Rajma Chawla cooked by my mother.