He rose to glory and fame after being selected as one of the few to attend Master Chef Classes at the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore. Having worked at many prestigious and coveted Hotels like the Taj Group, Oberoi Group, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai and then restaurants like Olive Bar & Kitchen, LAP, Olive Beach, Cibo, he is now heading Dusit Devarana.
Chef Nishant Kumar Choubey, COO, Swaad Samudra Private Ltd spoke to Restaurant India on what it takes to be a successful chef and the scope of this industry in the future.
The Remarkable Journey
Started off with Raj Vilas, Jaipur, Choubey said,” I was doing everything from moping to dishwashing, to learning from the chefs, and moved to Dubai, where I helped opening 2 of their signature restaurants which are doing extremely well right now. In between I am consulting for a restaurant in Bangkok called, Indus which has already become a Michelin Star Restaurant.”
The overwhelming growth of the hospitality industry all over the world has tremendously increased the demand for specialized chefs both in India and abroad. A Chef’s profession today is looked upon as one of the most sought after jobs owing to the high opportunities of making good bucks. Budding entrepreneurs today are in search for opportunities to be chefs, gaining exposure in the Restaurant Industry.
In the present scenario, Choubey explained,” The placement of chefs are much more than the engineers today. This gives us an insight of how good this industry is. Commitment and passion is all that this business requires.”
One of the major challenges Choubey said,” It is the consistent supply of the raw materials and to ensure quality it’s very important to get the right kind of supply on a daily basis. In the current scenario where the rupee is sinking against the dollar, the suitable vendors are not ready to get into a contract system. Hence, to combat the challenge we have started growing most of the raw material at our farm house and are not depending much on the vendors. The other challenge is the price.”
“Since the commodities are getting expensive, the food industry is getting directly affected. The ingredients are costly, and at times it becomes a huge challenge to justify the same to our guests”, said Choubey.
A Good Customer Experience
The efficiency of any chef can be instantly recognized by the presentation and quality of food they present to their customers. A chef not only needs to be versatile in his cooking, but should also be familiar with the cuisines of various other nationalities. Typically, French, Italian, Continental and Chinese are the favorites in major cities across the world. Therefore it is important for every prospective chef to select their area of specialization according to their interest in confectionary, cold kitchen or hot kitchen.
“Food is the key even when you don’t have a good infrastructure. People really come back for food”, said Choubey.
The Indian Restaurant industry needs to improve on the service part. There are places that are serving really good food but they lack in their service. To be a Michelin start restaurant, there are other areas of concern that needs to be addressed apart from food.
Tips for Young Chefs
Hard Working to start off, Commitment throughout your life and be passionate as you grow.