chef Dipna Anand of Brilliant Restaurant
Chef Dipna Anand Brilliant Restaurant Indian Celebrity Chef
Awards and Recognition:
Personality of the Year: British Curry Awards 2013
Best Food Technology Project in the Country from The British Nutrition Foundation (A Level Award)
British Curry Award for Best Restaurant in London Suburbs (2011-2014).
- A Brief about Culinary background:
Dipna Anand is a Celebrity Chef who co-owns the famous ‘Brilliant Restaurant’ in Southall. Author of ‘Beyond Brilliant’ recipe book, Dipna also lectures at The University of West London specialising in the subject fields of Hospitality, Catering, Food Studies and Indian cooking. Dipna runs an Indian cookery school, carries out food demos, pop-up chef events and is currently on a mission to teach the nation how to cook ‘Real Indian Food’ with her new TV show Dip in Kitchen. Dipna works with Restaurant Associates who are part of the Compass Group as their brand chef for their Punjabi food range and is now on the brink of creating her own ready meals range.
Does it make a difference being a woman in the challenging Food Industry? Does it give you an advantage or pull you back?
Being a female in this industry is definitely advantageous. I find I get a lot of attention due to this fact. Let’s face it, it’s a male dominated industry however women can cook just as well and I am out to encourage more females to pursue careers in the chef field. It’s a great industry and I am proud to be part of it.
- What do you want to be known for and what legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want to be known for teaching the nation how to cook real Punjabi food which is easy to cook, tasty and good for you at the same time. I want to leave behind my signature recipes.
- What makes you feel proud amongst all your achievements?
The fact I have my mum and dad continually behind me supporting and encouraging me to do even better, there is no bigger blessing for me than them.
Being a High profile Indian Chef and born in a family that runs Indian restaurants, was it easy for to reach the top than any other Indian chefs. What difference did it make in your life? What were the challenges you faced being in this position?
There are times it’s been challenging working in a family run restaurant because sometimes we may not all agree and thus have to come to a suitable mutual understanding.
In regards to growing up and being on top of the other chefs, I never really looked at competitors as there are a lack of female chef anyhow and for me the biggest competition was with myself. I always strive to be even better, that’s my secret.
How do you keep yourself updated? Which are the web sites or books you refer when creating new menu? How do new menu ideas spring in you?
I try many different restaurants both here and abroad and am always making notes in my heads. I like experimenting new dishes and new menu ideas stem from the ideas I trial in my kitchen. I do not really read however do enjoy watching new food videos online.
What guidance would you like to provide for Indian women chefs; to follow a successful career as yours?
It’s a very rewarding career path and if your passionate about food and cooking then follow your heart because food is an industry that will always have opportunities. Use social media to your advantage and keep uploading all food related content which will help strengthen your foundation.
How do you train your team of international mix?
On the job training works best for us. As we find this way we are able to train all at once and of course in a practical situation. This perfects everyone’s skills and encourages teamwork also.
One of the worst food criticism or comment received so far?
We haven’t really received anything drastically negative from a food critic and if we do get any negative comments we use them as constructive feedback to better ourselves.
Three daily rituals you do as a Chef or in Personal life and why it’s important?
Upload a picture on social media every day. for e.g. the dish I cook that day or eat that day Be thankful to god for giving me the best parents.Check my phone every 30 minutes to ensure I don’t miss anything
If you had to start all over again as a Sous Chef, whom would you want to work for other than your family and why?
If I had the opportunity to start work as a Sous Chef, I would love to work for a hotel chain in Canada as they are in need of good Indian food in restaurants out there.
How do you judge a young chef and test his long term commitment?
An interview is a great way to judge the basics-whether a chef is right for your kitchen, how passionate that chef is to get the job and also the knowledge they have. Then of course take a practical interview which helps to see their practical skills. In regards to long term commitment a CV should be checked and then a few work references from previous employees if any would suffice.
- Whom do you look up to or whom do you seek for guidance?
My senior chef in my life is my Dad who is an encyclopaedia of Punjabi food. Another personality is our head chef in my restaurant- Chef Sunil; from whom I have learnt so much and still continue to do until today.
What will be the future of Indian cuisine according to you? What should be the approach of Indian chefs in making Indian cuisine the best in the world?
The world is in love with Indian cuisine so it’s definitely here to stay. Indian Chefs should continue to keep the cuisine authentic and traditional although they should also continue to experiment with new Indian food flavours and dishes.
- How you keep yourself motivated?
Ensuring I am always busy keeps me motivated. I see it as a challenge and that way I know I must compete to the best of my ability. Spending time with my family also motivates and inspires me to do even better.
Name top Three Indian or other Cuisine restaurants around the world according to you Headed by Women Chefs?
Ching he huang
- Name Top Three Indian women chefs in your generation and a generation before you?
- How you approach new business leads and how do you retain the network relation?
Always communicating and keeping in touch with contacts is great to retain a relation. Approach new leads through recommendation and also online. Twitter and Linked in are great platforms to do this.
A Book or an Incident that influenced you and how has it changed your approach to life?
Winning the Personality of the year award was an incident worth remembering. David Cameron announced my name at the British Curry Awards and praised me for being a female chef. This inspired me to write my own book.
And many more please read the magazine in detail below
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