Executive chef at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Jerson Fernandes recently received the Guinness World Record for his contribution to ‘The Largest Display of Bread Varieties’ at the Brand-Culinary Academy of India Institute-Hyderabad. NT BUZZ highlights
Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ
Executive Chef at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, Jerson Fernandes is no stranger to awards and accolades. However the receiving the recent Guinness World Record for his contribution to The Largest Display of Bread Varieties’ at the Brand-Culinary Academy of India Institute-Hyderabad was a true moment of pride, both for him and the hotel.
“Awards mean a lot to me personally. These are little appreciation gestures which keep me going and motivated,” he says. “Saying that, one should not work hard to receive an award, one should strive hard to be successful, awards will automatically follow.”
Detailing how the world record event was set, Fernandes says that for him it was an honour to be at the event held in November 2019, that was masterminded by two of India’s master chefs- Sudhakar Rao and Akshay Kulkarni. “It was an extraordinary feat where we had 436 varieties of breads from more than 100 countries around the world such as UK, US, Spain, etc, made over a span of two days and one night. Chefs and students from the institute executed this feat under the able leadership of their faculty and mentors,” he says, adding that he along with chef Vivek Kadam (executive pastry chef, ITC, Grand Maratha, Mumbai) were lucky to contribute as chef mentors, and guide students in the entire baking process, as well as be part of the official Guinness judging panel.
Appointed as executive chef by Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, last year, Fernandes, who has grown up in Mumbai, has experience of over 12 years being associated with several chains. While his expertise lies in creative live cooking, plate presentation, and his ability to handle guests, the driving force for this young and enthusiastic chef is the passion he has to meet and cook for new people every single day sprinkled with the love for ingredients and food.
“I have always believed that food speaks a universal language and brings people together. Food for me is an anaesthesia that deadens the pain of sorrow, loneliness and suffering to a certain extent. Conveying a message to my guest through my food is what drives me every day,” he says.
Fernandes loves bringing novelty to the table dishing out-of-the-box preparations and detailing, along with uber cool plating. In fact, in today’s digital world, where social media makes or breaks the reputation of a restaurant, plating, he says, plays a prime role in the success of a dish. “For plate presentation, I believe the simpler you keep it, the better it looks visually,” he says adding that the use of the right plate, technique and garnishes is as important as not over crowding the plate. “Ensure the colour contrast and textures marry each other well with the flavours and elements on the plate. Little is a lot,” he says.
Don’t over garnish food by using readily available edible flowers, etc, he advises. “Use simple garnishes such a sprigs of coriander, parsley, herbs, Juliennes of bell peppers, golden fried sliced onions, flame kissed cherry tomatoes, olive rings, flowers made of carrots and radish, etc, in case you don’t want to use something fancy and expensive,” he says.