Cooking is an art that can Cooking is All About Passion and Patience: Chef Anurudh Khanna be mastered only by few and Chef Anurudh Khanna is definitely one of them. Through his passion for food, Anurudh developed exceptional culinary skills and managed to impress gastronomy enthusiasts from all walks of life. His specialities include both Italian and Indian food items. Currently, working as the Executive Chef at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bengaluru, Anurudh initiated his career at the La Piazza restaurant where he prepared a wide range of mouth-watering Italian dishes. He is also the prestigious winner of the “Innovative Chef of the year 2018 award’, organized by the BBC Good Food and Fabelle Chocolates for the South Region. A professional chef for the past two decades, Anurudh looks forward to spending many more years in the kitchen. In a quick chat with Travelrasoi, Chef Anurudh Khanna shares more about his profession and journey as a chef over the years.
Q. What prompted you to become a chef?
A. I joined a hotel management course and for 2 years I had no clue what I would do post my IHM diploma. However, during my 6 months of mandatory internship I spent much time in the kitchen and loved all the action and creativity that it offered. That was when I decided to turn into a professional chef and cook sumptuous dishes for everyone.
Q. Who taught you cooking?
A.I started my career in the Italian kitchen and I acquired hands-on cooking from a couple of Italian chefs as well as my then CDP, Chef Srinivasan. My journey commenced with La Piazza restaurant in the year 1999 under Chef de Cuisine Chef Carmella Mario at the Hotel Hyatt Regency in New Delhi. At Hyatt, I got an opportunity to develop my cooking skills and received valuable guidance of Chef Amit Chowdhury who currently occupies the Executive Chef position at The Taj Mahal Palace and Towers Mumbai .In many ways, he is my culinary mentor.
Q. What was the first dish that you prepared as a professional chef?
A. I remember preparing lasagne after I became a professional Chef. I learnt to prepare the pasta sheet dough as well as assembled a lasagne for my guests.
Q. You recently won the South Asia Region Innovative Chef of the year 2018? r Can you throw more light on the same?
A. This was at a recent FOOD FOOD awards by the BBC Good food and fabelle chocolates. I won the most innovative Chef of the year 2018 award for the South Region. My name was finalized by eminent jury members who identified me as one of the most innovative chefs driving the culinary, trends and innovations in terms of the cuisine across all the hotels and restaurant. I was picked up by the Jury for my contributions in cuisine with the Shangri-La hotel and driving innovation and guest satisfaction.
Q. What is your take on Indian food? How do you plan to take Indian food to other parts of the globe?
A. I strongly feel thatIndian cuisine is one the most versatile cuisines across the globe. I cherish Indian cuisine for its vastness and depth of flavours, particularly the spices that come from different parts as well as culture of India. I believe Indian food should be taken across the world in its purest form, without any modifications. While, some amount of fusion and inspirational twists are fine, we must retain the originality of the cuisine when it comes to spices and flavours.
Q. What was your career changing experience?
A. None, so far. I am quite blessed to be a professional chef for over two decades and want to cherish kitchens for many more years to come.
Q. What is your favourite ‘Ghar ka khana’? How often do you cook at home?
A. I am a true Punjabi by heart and my favourite home food is Rajmah and chawal. I do not cook at home since my wife, who is an equally terrific cook does all the cooking.
Q. Any advice you would love to give to the aspiring chefs?
A. I would advise budding chefs to remain committed and disciplined towards their profession. They must be willing to learn the hard way since nothing comes easy. It takes a lot of blood and sweat to become a successful chef, which is why it is important to hang in there and give you
Q. Could you share a cooking tip with us?
A. More than skills it’s the love for cooking and patience that is important for preparing tasty food. I would advice new chefs to stay away from any short cuts.