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Celebrating Food Connoisseurs

On World Chefs Day, NT BUZZ speaks to a few chefs in Goa about their chosen profession and what it means to them

Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ

Thanks to the many televised shows, cooking today is a profession many believe to be close to art, and food tantalises more than just our taste buds. While eating healthy seems to be the focus around the globe, on this day, chefs remember that it is their duty to pass on knowledge and culinary skills to the next generation with a sense of pride and commitment to
the future.

Cooking up experiences

I have always been inspired by different flavours and the art of cooking. As a chef, one needs to be passionate to cook up the best experiences! It’s an art and art is definitely not for all. It requires dedication and discipline, but my sheer love for cooking supersedes everything else.

-Chef Ananth Shanmugasundaram, DoubleTree by Hilton Goa, Panaji

Kitchen is the castle

Cooking is an inborn passion which is based on three pillars: hard work, perfection, and consistency. To me it means achieving great results, mainly by raising the bar and pushing oneself to reach culinary greatness. The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family. It’s not about perfection; it’s about the joy of striving. Cooking is the ultimate form of giving.

-Chef Mahesh Mageswaran, Radission Blu Goa

Serving a global people

I strongly believe that food is something which brings people of different cultures together on the same table. We as chefs get to understand different cultures, tastes, cuisines, by serving food to global people. To understand people’s culture and cuisine and make sure that they are happy with our food is something that makes me happy as a chef.

-Chef Amit Kumar, Le Meridien

Food is about perspectives

A chef is a food artist and a connoisseur and there is a lot more that goes into the day-to-day operations that involves the title. I look at food from a very different perspective which includes customer palate satisfaction, geographics of the market, creativity and using available ingredients to its utter justice.

-Chef Rohan D’Souza, Lazy Goose/Toro Toro

Giving your best…everyday

Being a chef is not a job but a lifestyle decision. There is a saying “A chef is only as good as his last meal” and I tend to follow that philosophy. Working in kitchens is tough. You give your best and you work with people that give their best everyday. There is a type of brotherhood among chefs that is unique. We give it our best during the competition but, shake hands and have a beer after the game.

Learning cuisine is learning culture. Being an international chef has given me the opportunity to learn from the people that I teach. I have gained knowledge of the world and humanity. I have also missed most of the social functions that I have been invited to over my adult life. I have lived and worked in ten different countries and have moved twenty-four times. For thirty years, I have met incredible people and have said good-bye to all of them, except one… my wife (I managed to keep her with me).

-Chef David Ansted, Grand Hyatt Goa

Food beyond a basic need

Being a chef is a lot more than just cooking food or just being connected to the world of gastronomy. For me, it’s about serving an experience in the form of a great dining experience, giving back to the society in the form of philanthropist activities, educating the society on sustainable cooking practices and promoting local ingredients by supporting farmers. It is definitely not just a profession, but a way of life. Food today is becoming an art more than a basic need and chefs today are considered as artists who are taking gastronomy to another level all together. This is one profession which touches people’s hearts through their stomachs.

-Chef Jerson Fernandes, Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia

Creativity redifined

Being a chef involves so much more than what meets the eye. It is the art of what your hands produce, executing an imagination created in the mind. What we bring to the table is not just food; it is a hallmark unique to each chef – creativity redefined on a platter. I’ve been a cook all my life, I’m learning every day.

-Chef Rishi Manucha, Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa

New learning everyday

Food is an essential element in our lives, being part of such an important segment is a privilege in itself. Every plate that returns to the kitchen wiped clean is a feeling of bliss we chefs take pride in. It is a dynamic industry with each day teaching me something new.

-Chef Jose Thomas, Vivanta Goa, Panaji

All about love

Being a chef is being a messenger of love, spreading happiness and joy through one’s tummy. For me it is about bringing a smile to someone by creating a recipe that one might cherish for a lifetime.

-Chef Avinash Martins, Cavatina

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