For Chef Noah Barnes cooking was always associated with his mind to distress and alone time, a time to cut out. However in culinary school, the theory bit would make him run away, as he is more a hands-on, touch and feel chef. Theory is very important and he only learnt that once he actually started cooking professionally. Excerpts from the interview:
You have represented India at Hans Bueschkens Junior Chef Challenge. How was the experience?
It was the biggest eye opener and it would have been the same for anyone of my age who got the platform. It showed me where the world had reached with cooking techniques and skills and how India still had a lot of catching up to do.
Tell us something about your cooking methods, recipes?
To me cooking techniques depend on the ingredients we use; justice to the ingredients is of utmost importance for me while cooking a food or preparing a recipe.
What is your contribution to Tabula Beach Café and Arriba Mexican Grill & Tequileria as an executive chef?
I am F&B director for both the restaurants TabulaBeach & Arriba- Mexican Grill & Tequileria, my job is to curate all the food and beverages menus along with their execution, making sure that the quality of both is maintained with utmost priority and the business is profitable.
What is your favourite part of playing with flavours?
The mix and match of flavors from different cuisines is the most thrilling part. It is surprising to see the similarities in flavors and how when mixed and matched work wonders.
We have seen that customers these days look out for new age bars and restaurants. How are you defining the same at your restaurants?
At both our restaurants, we are always innovating our food and beverage menu, keeping in mind the global trends. We always try to be sustainable and minimize carbon footprint. Our menus, both food and cocktails changes every three months.
Your expertise lies in European cuisine. How are you making it palatable to Indian customers?
The Indian customer's palette has evolved from last 10 years, now customers do not look for masking of flavors. In fact, they have traveled extensively and they look for authentic European flavors.
What is the uniqueness of both your restaurants?
Arriba is by far the closest take on authentic Mexican food in this city. Both our restaurants have strong identities when it comes to the concept and theme including the thought that has gone into designing the menu.
What is the average footfall?
Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, Tabula has about 600 people and Arriba is full house every night.
What trends you see going forward that will disrupt the food biz?
The fact that every new restaurant opening is dropping their prices to lure the customers will one day surely disrupt the food business.
What is your expansion plans?
We are looking for expansion at other metropolitan cities. However, the business sense over the cities matches our module.