Name :-Simran Singh Thapar
Signature Dish(es) :-Lamb rack Rahra and Atta Chicken
Awards & Recognitions :-Gold medalist Oberoi Centre of learning and development, mention by Mr. Vir Sanghvi in his article in HT Brunch for my signature dish “ Lamb Rack Rahra” and Best SPA Cuisine award for “The Oberoi Suhvilas” – Food Food Awards (I opened the Oberoi Sukhvilas)
Favourite Restaurant(s) :-Unusual, but true – “Kesar da Dhaba” – Never fails to impress
Favourite Dessert(s) :-Home made Gajar Halwa
Favourite Drink(s) :-“Kanji” – Fermented black carrot drink
What inspired you to become a chef?
Being a Punjabi, I was raised in a family of foodies. First memories of a kitchen are sitting on the kitchen counter while being fed hot parantha’s right off the griddle by my first chef Guru, my Mother. Not everyone is aware, that being a chef is certainly my first love, but my second career. I started with being a Merchant Navy officer (not a chef, but navigation officer) and sailed only to later discover my calling in getting back and pursuing my “Culinary journey”. Even during my life as a sailor, exploring food across the ports we touched was always something that I relished. Fate had it planned with me getting into the best hospitality training at OCLD –Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development, which is something that only chosen 15 candidates manage every year out of lakhs of aspirants. Rest is all history as we say. I realized my dream and can explain it through a quote by Chef Gordon Ramsey – “If you want to be a great chef, you got to work with Great Chefs”, and so did I.
What is the one cuisine that you are most comfortable cooking?
Enjoy the most I love cooking Indian food and it includes experiencing and cooking food from regional Indian cuisines. My work has made me travel from Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Mumbai, Delhi amongst many more eating, exploring and creating the dishes from the region is something that is my stress buster. One of the best memories in my culinary journey are learning and making “Meen Polichathu”, “Dhungar Maas” and “Sepuwadi” amongst many others. I also was lucky to be a part of the “Rivaayat” – An Oberoi Group initiative for the revival of Indian regional cuisines through eminent chefs and experts in these cuisines.
Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
In my Life there are three chef’s that I admire the most:
- Chef Ashish Bhasin – Executive Chef – The Leela Gurugram – From Chef I learn how to showcase my team or the real heroes that learn from you and give shape to your creations every day treating them like their own. The chef never misses a chance to showcase and highlight his team and besides the drive to learn and be better every day is infectious.
- Chef Rohit Gambhir – Executive Chef – The Oberoi New Delhi – Chef Rohit has been a blessing as a mentor and guru and one of my best learning’s from the chef is “Focus” and “Never give up”. In all my difficult situations at work and in life, I can close my eyes and I can see chef and hear his words – “It does not matter how many times you fall, what matters is your efforts and how many times you have the courage to get up and try again with an eye on the target always”.
- Chef Parvinder Bali – Chef Bali does not need an introduction. What I am today is a result of training under chef Bali at The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. What also inspires me is the drive and conviction that chef demonstrates while still learning and becoming better at whatever chef lays his heart onto, be it learning a foreign language and mastering it or becoming a pro at cycling beside being the “culinary genius” •
When are you happiest at work?
The happiest moment for me is the moment of reality when a guest loves the food prepared by my kitchen and the efforts that start with choosing the right ingredients to process them, choosing the right equipment and cooking techniques and then plating it are all rewarded with that one nod and smile. This smile and appreciation are what keeps us going as chefs.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a chef?
Work on your basic first, be strong with the basics and they will help you build up improvisations. There is no replacement for missing your “culinary basics”.
ABOUT Simran Singh Thapar | The Roseate Hotels and Resorts |
Having started his career at The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development in 2007, Chef Simran brings with him 11 years of culinary expertise and his undying passion for food to The Roseate, New Delhi. Chef Simran specializes in Indian and Western fusion dishes and has been trained under industry stalwarts such as Chef Parvinder Bali and Chef Adrian Mellor. in his previous professional endeavours, Chef Simran has played many pivotal roles – one such being In the preopening stage of The Oberoi, Sukhvilas. He has been a core team member of “three sixty Degrees” at The Oberoi, New Delhi and “The Garden Terrace” at Maidens Hotel. He has also curated menus for the illustrious Ambani family.