Chef Vinayak Bandodkar:-
Chef Vinayak Bandodkar Joined as Executive Sous chef at Lemon tree Amarante beach resort and now handling the post of Senior Executive Chef. Joined Taj Group of hotels in the year 1995 as a job trainee. Later appointed as an assistant cook and finally promoted as a First Cook
What inspired you to become a chef?
As a kid the kitchen would always be one of my favorite places in my home. My childhood toys always included some kitchen vessels and spatulas. At the age of twelve I was popularly known as the famous cook amongst our group of friend, as during the vacation or in absence of my parents, I would invite my friends home and cook something special for them. My true inspiration has always been my parents, where I would always see my mother preparing some of the most amazing dishes and my father would always motivate her to cook something new. This inspiration from them and my own interest of cooking always kept the flame of becoming a great cook burning within me.
What is the one cuisine that you are most comfortable cooking? Enjoy the most
Being a Goan by mind, body and soul, one of my favorite cuisine by default includes the very famous Goan fish curry and rice with stuffed fish fillings with Goan aromatic seasoning. Preparing fish curry makes me stand on my toes instantly. Some of my favorite dishes include crabs, squids, kingfish, mackerel etc. Another Goan dish which I love cooking is chicken xacuti by a special recipe learned from my mother. Apart from Goan cuisine I love cooking Pastas in different styles and Indian biryanis.
Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
There are two important people who play a very vital role in shaping my career in a progressive way.
1. Chef Sunita Rodrigues who was working for Taj Aguada. I have a learnt a lot through this mentor of mine. Under her guidance I have learnt the process of Italian cooking.
2. Corporate chef Chef Rajiv Janveja well known as Chef RJ from Lemon Tree who has always been a mentor to me. He always support me for my new ideas and is always there as a well wisher and friend. He has always guided me and encouraged me during my thin and thick times.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a chef?
I always remember a beautiful saying from very famous movie, ‘DON’T GO FOR SUCCESS WORK FOR EXCELLENCE SUCCESS WILL AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOW YOU’. Make your cooking skill very strong, keep positive attitude & dedication towards work and always try to go extra mile.
Who do you love cooking for the most ?
Cooking is my passion and I always like serving my hand made food but when it comes to cooking for someone special I love to do it for my father since he will always have some manipulation in food and I take it as a challenge to make it turn tasty. Secondly, I like cooking for my kids where I see a little bit of me in them, where they tell me to add a little butter, cheese etc and they just be around me when I cook.
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