Chef Sarfaraz Ahmed
Chef Sarfaraz Ahmed | Tresind Mumbai
An e-interview of Chef Sarfaraz Ahmed | Tresind Mumbai for Finediningindian Magazine
Provided by blogger and Influencer Sana Qureshi
How did you become a chef and why?
I have grown up under guidance of one of the well-known Indian chef who is very close to our family. That created interest in me to follow his path of success since childhood.
What message do you want to give younger chefs out there ?
This is a tough industry to survive and achieve success so have your focus on “LEARN” rather “EARN” rest everything will automatically follow.
How can you explain your style of cooking?
Anything that makes you and your guests happy.
What are your most memorable achievement in your professional life? why was it important for you?
There are many small and big achievements but most memorable could be my selection in The Leela Hotels management trainee program.
What is your concept for a forming a new menu for your restaurant and how do you shortlist the dishes?
We do progressive Indian food that requires inspiration and how you treat your ingredients in the recipe ultimately comes on to the plate. We can do an Indian traditional dish influenced with western technique and ingredients or we can go for a western dish influenced with Indian ingredients.
Shortlisting depends on flavours, textures and ingredients used and should fit into our desired place in the tasting menu.
How do you develop your team, what responsibilities and freedom do you give your subordinates?
Kitchen brigade is selected with each player having a key role. Responsibilities are delegated according to their skill set and position in the brigade.
Developing a team requires constant learning effort and road to perfection by each individual. Performance by each individual is monitored and appraised regularly.
How do you keep up to date with the constantly evolving world’s culinary scene?
Latest trends and developments in the world culinary scene change rapidly and one need to read vigorously, be active on social media and constantly stay connected with your guests and friends working around the world.
One of your worst food critics or comment you received and how did you deal with it?
I don’t think till today I have got any critics or comment that I can term it as worst.
What would you like to do more for a chef support system in helping each other in achieving success? Cross promotion, etc.
Four hands promotions with other restaurants leads to success and learning for both the chefs and restaurants who participate.
Any daily rituals you do and how it helps you to stay active, motivated?
I don’t believe in rituals just like to stay positive to get better results every time.
How do you judge a young chef and how you test him for the long term?
Skills can be enhanced; knowledge can be gained with experience but attitude is what I look for with basic culinary training. Learning attitude definitely will lead to a long-term relationship.
What will be Indian cuisine & Indian chef’s future according to you, what should be Indian chefs’ approach in making Indian cuisine best in the world?
Indian Cuisine is now entering to an era of what we called as Nouvelle Cuisine with more focus on exotic ingredients to be incorporated from around the world giving an ultimate dining experience to guests with small plates. The food is no more loaded with heavy curries and spices rather making it simpler.
Indian cuisine should get the respect what it deserves breaking the barrier of Butter Chicken and Biryani tag from around the world as it very diversified and rich which people don’t know. This is my view on approach of an Indian Chef.
Name top five Indian restaurants around the world according to you?
Name Top Five Indian chefs of all Time according to you?
Chef Bakshish Dean
Chef Avijit Ghosh
Chef Atul Kochhar
Chef Gaggan Anand
Chef Mir Zafar Ali
How do you choose an Indian restaurant to eat with the family, what dishes do you look for in the menu?
Social media plays an important role in choosing a restaurant when it comes to dining with family.
Menu should have a good selection of non – vegetarian and vegetarian dishes as some of my family members are vegetarians.
Do classic or modern dishes stand ahead of time? why according to you?
These are two sides of a same coin. Without classic there is no modern. Classic should always remain as it is and one should not play with grandmother’s recipe but can get inspiration to create something new with different style and inspiration.
This is the time to welcome new inspirational dishes with traditional flavours and that makes modern dishes ahead of time.
Chef Sarfaraz Ahmed | Tresind Mumbai
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