A Passionate chef and an Executive Sous Chef at IHG – InterContinental Hotels Group, Chef Yash Thakore. We chatted with one of the young and talented Chef from Ahmedabad, about his food and the culinary journey. Here is what he has to say…
1. Few lines about you
Personally & professionally I am a backbencher who believes to do the job & move on. I don’t go for attention or appreciation but any unprofessional involvement in my work & challenging my capability brings out the roar. I am a team player & dedicate all my success I have achieved in past 13.5 yrs to my team of chefs I have worked with & parents who have always supported my decisions. The birth of my daughter has taught me how to be balanced & have patience day in & out.
2. How your love for food started?
Love for food was all natural. It was not inspired by seeing someone. Maybe as I come from a family of foodies who love to cook & serve traditional dishes. I only took it further making it into a professional career is the 1st in family to go the way no one ever did.
3. Did you go to culinary school?
I hold a degree in Hotel Management from IHMCTAN, Bengaluru
4. How did you start your career?
During my final year of college, I got selected on campus as HOST (Hotel Operational Supervisor Trainee) by ITC Park Sheraton & Towers, Chennai (now Crowne Plaza, Chennai). To get this job I had to undergo group discussion, personal interview in college & food trial at the hotel. On completion of my training of 2 yrs, I was designated as DCDP (Demi Chef de Partie)
5. What is your favorite dish which you love cooking again and again?
No food on the earth is more satisfying than “Khichdi & Kadhi” which I can make & have any day and any meals. For the guest, I love making Korma’s, Kebab’s, Nalli Nihari & many dishes belonging to North West Frontier region.
6. From where do you get inspiration?
A chef has to be self-motivated. It has to inspire others & in return when your hard work is laid down in form of delicacies & appreciated that is where I get my inspiration to take the food to another level.
7. Funniest incident in your kitchen
A kitchen is a place where characters & artists work & get dirty with spices & curries. We work in a box & at the peak of busy operation hours, we are on top of our voice & energy to get the orders sent before time. At this point, if a pretty lady passes by all of a sudden the screams are changed to romantic songs. All are organized their stained uniform & speak to each other so gently as if they are in the middle of Board of Director’s meeting. The moment the lady is away from the vision we get back to what we do best. 😉
8. You’re stranded on a desert island. What five food (ingredients) would you want with you? What would you make?
It would definitely be Rice, Arhar Dal, Salt, Ghee & Jeera. All I need for Khichdi. Here are some awesome Khichdi (Indian Porridge) recipes to try, Moong Dal Khichadi (Indian Porridge) Swaminarayan Khichdi Bajra Khichdi Sabudana Khichdi (Tapioca Pearls Pilaf)
9. Your signature dish?
Kaddu Ka Dalcha. I had learned while working in Hyderabad. One of my favorite dish that I love to make, serve & eat.
10. How do you balance your work and family life?
That’s the most difficult part being a hotelier. It’s work most of the time with no planned weekly off’s. But I make a point to take planned leave in a year at intervals & make sure give all the time at home making up for not being with family on daily basis.
11. Your role model?
We in a world where we have a bunch of great celebrity & Michelin star chefs who have maintained the food to another level & among them I follow Chef Imtiaz Qureshi, Chef Mohamed Nazeem, Chef Khulsum Begum. I am also thankful to Chef Allaudin Sheikh who had taught me basics of Indian & Mughlai cooking at the start of my career. He is not a celebrity chef but a true chef with great hand & mind skills.
12. What is your success mantra?
Being adaptable, innovative & believe in your team. Knowledge & learning can come from any corner, any person, by any mode; we need to grasp it & implement in our work what best we can. I had learned it, implemented it & has never repented of my decisions.
13. What is the most important quality needed to be a good chef?
A good chef has to be a good listener. He/she shouldn’t be afraid of failure & should never stop believing that all he can has been achieved. A chef goes to the grave knowing only 0.1% of food existent in this world.
14. Message for young minds who want to become chefs.
Believe in yourself as the success in this field is late & not easy. Be a good listener but implement only what you can & is best for you. Tell your family & friends that you are always with them but in thoughts. And last but not the least being chef is an art & not all are an artist in this world. If you have this art it means you a special one chosen by God. Be patient, work long & hard as the taste of final success is so sweet no dish can match its flavor. Check out our ‘Chef Interviews‘ section for more inspirational stories of famous chefs.