A Chef by profession and a foodie by nature, I have been part of the hospitality industry for two decades, from five-star kitchens to the dhabas or the stand-alone restaurants and the roadside eateries have contributed to my culinary journey. The enrichment continues as the food scene evolves all across. My endeavor as Partner of Malt & Salt Hospitality (UAE and India) is to hand hold restaurateurs in realizing their dream.
I am often asked by hotel & restaurant investors what kind of a menu would I suggest for their restaurants and would the dishes be authentic? The times of Marie-Antoine Carême and Georges Auguste Escoffier are long gone, though very well respected and followed in some circles, especially hospitality training institutes.
As a young boy, I loved it when my mother cooked my favorite curry, the taste still lingers on and after all these years, for me that is authentic. Similarly, we all would have our versions of authentic and favorites; no one can take that away or replicate it. However, as professionals we can attempt is to create new favorites, very often. This is the success mantra for the restaurant.
Indian cuisine is in demand across the globe in its true form or moderately adjusted according to the local palette. In the past decade, the industry is moving towards Neo classical cuisine; use of freshest ingredients simplified preparation, modern approach to the presentation a light touch of the sauces.
Fusion food is Haute; meticulously prepared and artistically presented. The chef incarnates a scientist’s and an artist’s avatar to awe the guests. A restaurant would deem successful if the current guests keep coming back repeatedly and newer customers get added to client base and this would happen if the food is liked by the guests.
A way to the guest’s heart and wallet is great tasty food, I haven’t come across anyone that would go with a microscope to challenge the authenticity of a dish that he has liked in a restaurant. I do have a great deal of respect for authenticity but it’s really hard to establish the same in most cuisines.
Great taste is also subjective to each one taste bud and also the frame of mind at a particular time hence the need to choose from a variety of favorite restaurants. Mostly a customer is adventurous 25% of his outings that he pays for, rest of the time he sticks to his all-time favorites or his comfort food.