Chef Abdul Yaseen says that the love for food is the best kind of love, and this is what makes cooks become chefs, and chefs become mentors. He talks to NT BUZZ ahead of his curated dining experience
Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ
Beleza by the beach will be hosting a master class today and tomorrow, with celebrated and award winning chef Abdul Yaseen who is known for his restaurant, Darbaar in the United Kingdom. Titled ‘Modern Indian Dining’, the session will take participants through a take on traditional Indian recipes mixed with western culinary techniques
Q. From Jaipur to London, how did Indian food give you the recognition?
It has been a fascinating journey, very inspirational, and full of learning and development. What make the Indian cuisine the most versatile is its abundant supply and usage of spices. I find myself fortunate enough to be a fraction of the ocean of knowledge that Indian cuisine has offered. Trained under some of the finest chefs, and following the new trends of food, the last two decades have made me form a unique style which I can proudly call as mine. I owe this to the critics and my diners who have challenged me on every aspect of the culinary adventure.
Q. It’s not difficult to become a chef through a hotel management course, but learning craftsmanship of a historical cuisine like India’s is what makes the difference.
I have always considered cooking as a skill which you could easily develop if you are respectful towards the science that comes with it. In fact I am a big fan of learning the hard way and growing. And I always advise youngsters to do this. Craftsmanship can only been achieved with self-motivation and dedication.
With the current trend and yes the education and flair that television has brought to the living rooms of viewers, cooking has passionately been visual. One should always seek professional training before making it a career.
Q. You owned a restaurant in London. So what’s different being a chef and an owner?
Chefs are creative minds. The pleasure of seeing the results of a complete dish takes away all the pain of those long and extreme hours of effort put behind it. Running your own business sometimes gets in the way of the creativity where the operations take over and you have to balance between both. It is not a pleasant situation to be in but the test of times is what makes you grow more mature and in control.
Q. Today, everyone likes food that has been tweaked. What is your modern take on Indian food?
Modernism is not about combining or tweaking the ingredients or fusing them. My idea of modernism is to look at things from outside the box. The only walls that prevent you from exploring things differently are those that are in your mind and your innovation would win past them when you break them.
Thinking modern is staying within the roots but to keep flying.
Q. What is your take on self-made chefs running restaurants?
I have a huge respect for those who come out and beat the heat. Food brings communities together and is one ingredient which unites the world. In the event of following the passion and dream, self-made chefs have created a buzz over half a decade and supper clubs have become more fashionable.