Having experience with various 5-star Hotels of India, and done various cooking shows on TV channels like Living Foodz, Food Food channel and Colours Gujarati. Born in Agra – also known as the ‘City of Taj’, the famous Chef Venkatesh Sharma talks about his journey to being Chef in an exclusive interview with Bachelor Recipe.
1. Tell something about yourself
I am from Agra, a northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. For me cooking is not only my profession or hobby, it’s my passion. My mother is my real inspiration in cooking field. Apart from cooking, dancing and painting are my hobbies.
2. So how did you start this amazing journey?
Well, I started cooking when I was in 5th standard. I still remember that my mom always used to do fasting on every Monday. So, one day she took me to the kitchen and taught me how to prepare tea. That was my first experience in kitchen & from that day onwards I start taking interest in kitchen.
I used to ask the basic recipes from my mom. When I passed my 10th standard my family and relatives asked me, ‘what’s your future plan?’. The only thing I said to them is ‘I want to become a CHEF’. So, after completing my 12th standard, I gave AIEEE and JEE entrance exam for Pune university and I got selected.
This was the starting path towards my dream…
3. What difficulties you faced and how you overcome them?
My mother always used to say me that never use a shortcut in your life “Mehnat karne se jo success milti hai, uski khushi alag hoti hai”. (Success achieved by hard work, brings you most happiness and satisfaction.)
When I completed my hotel management course I faced lots of difficulties and ups and downs in my life. I didn’t have a job for approx 7 months as I was a fresher. Every hotel used to say ‘we need an experienced guy or we don’t hire fresher’s’. But, one day I got a call from hotel Taj Nashik. The executive chef of hotel Taj Nashik called me and asked: “will you joined our property as a job trainee?”. I said yes and next day I went to Nashik. I started my first job with only 800Rs. per month. I learn a lot from the chefs.
Many times they used to ill-treat me, favourite some chefs used to say “we will throw you out of the hotel if you touch the frying pan” Smiles… Long duty, less salary, many injuries, but still I didn’t let down my passion towards cooking.
As time passes I expertise my skills and today I am appointed as a head chef. I started doing various TV cooking shows and also started taking lectures as a senior lecturer in SICHM Institute of Hotel Management College. I have also participated in formula one car racing event as a food and beverage coordinator and provided food service in the dance reality show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.
4. Was being Chef your original dream?
Yes. As I said above I love to cook and I started my cooking since my childhood. So, I decided to make my hobby as my career.
5. What favourite cuisine to cook?
Well, as a Chef I love to cook every cuisine because learning never ends and cooking is endless. But still, the French cuisine is my favourite as I love plating and presentation, and got awarded too.
6. Is there a secret ingredient that you love to cook with?
7. Is there a Chef you admire the most? Who and why?
Gordan Ramsay, he’s my favourite Chef. His cooking skills, techniques are beyond the limits.
8. What are your future goals?
I want to be a Michelin Star Chef just like Chef Vikas Khanna. My dream is to open my own fine dine restaurant and want to achieve “Michelin Star” tag.
9. Any message for young upcoming chefs of India?
For upcoming Chefs, I only want to say keep working hard and hard. The chef is not only a tag or title it’s an honour. So friends give your best and work hard to achieve your goals.
“Kabhi kabhi manzil tak pohochne k liye time lagta hai (Sometimes it takes a time to reach our destination) but never loose hope and believe in yourself. So keep cooking eat healthy and stay fit .”
Check out our ‘Chef Interviews‘ section for more inspirational stories of famous chefs.