Make a wrong career decision and you land into a dilemma for the rest of your life. But for Chef Satya Narayan Kedarnath, Executive Chef-Vivanta by Taj, Whitefield (better known as Chef Sunny), he knew what he wanted in life. His mother being his inspiration in joining this profession, he even took his first preliminary cooking tips from his mother. And sure enough he joined the profession yearning to learn more and creating the best dining experience for his guests.
In a quick chat with Chef Sunny, he happens to share many such aspects from his 30 years long career that can become a learning curve for others –
How did the thought of becoming a chef come to you?
I wanted to become either a doctor or a pilot initially. I decided to do hotel management only after I realized that pursuing these professions would mean that I would have to devote maximum time to studying. This particular profession also interested me as I was fascinated by my mother’s cooking and wanted to fine tune.
Where did you learn to cook? What is the first dish you had prepared as a chef?
I learnt the basics of cooking by watching my mother in her kitchen. The first dish I made was crème brulee.
Tell us one experience during your initial days of cooking? How many years have you been in this profession?
I still recall an incident as a youngster when I joined the hotel line and was undergoing my training. Suddenly in the middle of the training, the chef turned to me and asked me to check if the caramel is ready. Without thinking I put my finger into the hot melting caramel and burnt my fingers. I had bubbles all over my finger for two weeks and i was miserable. But i learnt my lesson and always keep my eyes open.
I have been in this profession now for 30 years.
What kind of struggle you may have come across as an accomplished chef?
There is no end to guest satisfaction. So this is indeed a big challenge for everyone who wishes to be a part of this industry.
Who has been your biggest critic during your journey?
My wife and it is because of her support and understanding that I am what I am today
What’s your thought on fusion food? What’s your favorite?
I love playing around with ingredients and trying out different combinations.
Which style of cooking do you admire the most? (Indian, Continental)?
I love Indian, as it gives you so many things to play with. Secondly India is such a big country with so many different states each offering a unique taste in itself which no other country can match.
Which is your favourite ‘Gharkakhana’? Do you cook at home sometime?
I do not enter the kitchen at home, as my wife is the boss there (chuckles).
My favorite ghar ka khana is sukhia aloo ki subzi / pickle and curd on the side with chappati.
Any advice you would love giving someone aspiring to become a chef?
Keep your eyes open as there is so much to learn, make notes, surf the net, you happen to learn something every day and you should look to making the most of it.
Could you share a cooking tip with us?
- To bring out small insects while washing vegetables sprinkle little salt in the water
- To ripen mangoes place them on a bed of hay
– Samrita Baruah / Anjali Sethi Joshi