Category Archives: Food

Wafer per eedu

Recipe: Wafer per eedu

(Photo: Perzen Patel)

If you’ve managed to secure some eggs, here’s a tasty dish from the Parsi cuisine which essentially revolves around eggs… Even if they were an acquired taste for Perzen Patel. 

I’ve always been mentally allergic to eggs. I’ll eat cakes that have eggs and dishes where I can’t see or taste the egg. But scrambled eggs, fried eggs, quiches, eggs bene, boiled eggs are all out.

This would be an okay thing to be allergic to except that I’m a Parsi. And my community is obsessed with eggs. In any and every form.

Eede translates to egg and “per eedu” literally means “egg on top”. Open any Parsi cookbook, and you will find at least a handful of different akoori’s as well as dishes like mango per eedu (eggs on mango), tomato per eedu (eggs on masala tomato) and even eggs cooked on clotted cream or malai per eedu. We even have a wintry egg fudge, Eeda Pak made with 25 egg yolks!

Some stories say that our egg mania finds its roots in ancient Iran where my ancestors lived before they were persecuted and migrated to India. In ancient Iran, eggs were seen as a symbol of fertility and new life. Of course, eggs are also a cheap way to bulk up leftovers. And, a great source of protein. Which likely also has something to do with our egg fascination.

As a blogger, I simply ignored all these egg recipes and wrote about other stuff. But when I graduated to becoming a caterer, I had to serve up some classic egg dishes. I started with an akoori (because that’s the only egg dish I can stand) but my clients were not satisfied. Sheena wanted to hear about my favourite egg dish growing up. (Ummm..none?)  Perin wanted to share her experience eating poro pav (omelette sandwich) at school . (Why why why?) Ravi reminisced about eating Kheema per eedu (eggs on spiced mince) at Kayani cafe, assuming I loved eating it too.

And so it continued.

At their insistence, I tried all of these and slowly, before I knew it, I was in love. I still can’t eat scrambled eggs, but I do like a good Wafer per Eedu. It feels like a good starting point for this imposter.

What is Wafer per eedu?

It’s literally, eggs on wafers (more commonly known in New Zealand as potato chips or crisps). I always find myself making this dish the day after a party when I have half-eaten bags of chips lying around the house.

It comes together in five minutes and you can feel a bit righteous finishing off the chips now that you’re eating them with eggs – you’re joining the #nofoodwaste movement!

WAFER PER EEDU

Serves Two

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 100 gm potato chips (or potato wafers)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Optional: Warm toasted bread

In a small saucepan, warm  the ghee. When it’s hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and ginger-garlic paste. Stir until the “raw” smell from the ginger and garlic is gone. Add the turmeric powder and mix.

Crush the wafers in your palms and add them to the pan. Gently mix until combined. In another bowl crack the eggs open, add in your salt and whisk them together.

Now, pour the eggs on top. Make a few holes in your wafer layer to allow the egg to go in and bind the potato layer. Lower your heat and cover the pan.

Cook for 2-3 minutes until the egg is cooked. Uncover the pan and garnish with the coriander leaves. Cut into two and plate up the wafer per eedu. Serve with warm toasted bread.

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Of malido and heritage


Interiors of the cafe

The Parsi dessert malido spells comfort for Neville Bose, the new restaurateur on the block. It is this homely comfort that the Parsi-Bengali force behind Kala Ghoda*s Malido Caf̩ wants to serve up at the freshly minted eatery. From grilled Bombay sandwich and beetroot carpaccio to avocado toast, Malaysian chicken curry and berry pulao, Bose has curated a fun, eclectic menu that the caf̩-hopping junta of the art district seems to be lapping up. The restaurateur Рwho has a degree in finance and hospitality from The Netherlands Рhad a simple criterion for the menu: light, healthy, sustainable food that makes you feel homely, he told this diarist.

Neville Bose
Neville Bose

“The menu is not cuisine-oriented. We wanted to have fun with it and keep it floating,” shared Bose, whose tryst with hospitality took off when he started managing the iconic Kala Ghoda Cafe amid the pandemic. Here*s a cool fact about the young gun. He traces his heritage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his brother Sailesh Chandra Bose, who is Neville*s great uncle. His father, Ardhendu Bose, meanwhile, was a model. Readers of a certain vintage will recall his Bombay Dyeing ads. Now, that*s some legacy to keep up.

 

https://www.mid-day.com/amp/mumbai/mumbai-news/article/mumbai-diary-tuesday-dossier-23266927

Parsi-Style Mutton Lacy Cutlets

Being adventurous with food choices sort of comes with the territory of being a food writer. But when it comes to the end of a long week or if I’m looking for a true comfort meal, all roads lead to Parsi food. And for me, food doesn’t get more comforting than a big helping of mori dal, rice and some Mutton Cutlets on the side.

Mutton Cutlets on their own aren’t a Parsi-specific dish, most cultures have their own meat kebabs to enjoy, but what sets Parsi cutlets apart has got to be the ‘Lace’. Thankfully this doesn’t mean gussying up your meal in frilly dresses, it refers to a technique of creating an eggy lattice over your cutlet that crisps to perfection when fried. In addition to the little crunchy nuggets which are always the best part of any dish, it also provides an opportunity to use extra eggs. An irresistible offer to any Parsi.

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Chinese and Thai cuisine also sometimes employ a similar technique making a thin egg wash that’s sprinkled into hot oil to produce the ‘lacy’ effect. Even European rissoles are sometimes made with something similar but the rich Indian spices and fresh onions in Parsi-style mutton cutlets give them the edge in the world food rankings (At least in my opinion)

Ingredients

  • 500 gm mutton mince
  • 250 gm  potatoes
  • 2 red onions
  • 2-3 Green chillies
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp good quality garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cup of plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs (more if required)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Oil

Method

  • In a pan, saute the chopped chillies and onions until soft.
  • Add in the garlic ginger paste and turmeric powder and stir together till well-combined. Transfer this mixture to a bowl.
  • In another pan dry roast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds and grind them into a powder and add them along with the garam masala and chilli powder to the onion mix.
  • Mash the potatoes into this mixture.
  • In another pan, add some oil and fry off your mutton mince, seasoning to taste.
  • Let it cool slightly and then mix it in with the potato mash until soft and well blended.
  • Shape the mixture into oval cutlets about ¼ inch thick.
  • Roll each cutlet in breadcrumbs and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • When you’re ready to fry, beat the eggs until they’re very frothy and then add a couple of spoons of water before beating them again.
  • Heat a few inches of oil for deep frying the cutlets.
  • Dip each cutlet in the eg mixture before dropping it in the hot oil.
  • Whisk the eggs between cutlets to ensure it stays aerated.
  • Drain them on some paper towels and serve hot as snacks or as a side dish.

https://www.slurrp.com/article/parsi-style-mutton-lacy-cutlets-are-a-bite-of-comfort-1674041807837

Ancient Parsi Recipes Come to Life in This New Cookbook From Chef Farokh Talati

“I decided to write this book out of a sense of duty,” says Farokh Talati. The head chef at London’s St. John Bread and Wine may have spent his career working in the U.K.’s most venerated kitchens (with the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Angela Hartnett, to name a couple), but Talati looks inward at his family history with this latest project—a new cookbook titled Parsi: From Persia to Bombay: Recipes & Tales from the Ancient Culture, out December 6 (Bloomsbury).

Parsi culture has early roots, dating back to the 7th century when a group of Zoroastrians, a pre-Islamic religious group, fled persecution in present-day Iran and eventually landed on the west coast of India, in the town of Sanjan. Their language, way of life, and culinary traditions mingled with local customs, creating what is today known as Parsi culture.

Talati grew up in a Parsi household in London, and his first cookbook feels like an artful heritage project—a show-and-tell of the recipes he was raised with, the dishes his parents ate in India before emigrating to the U.K., and present-day Parsi home chefs in Mumbai, where most Parsis live today. It’s inspired by his own travels back to India to learn more about his roots, but fosters a mission of showcasing and preserving Parsi cuisine—for those who’ve never heard of it, and for new generations of Parsis alike. “This book represents a very important aspect of the Parsi community and shows it to a new audience,” says Talati. “My hope is that Parsis who do not know how to cook the foods their mums, dads, and grandparents used to cook will pick up this book and learn to make these dishes and reconnect with their heritage.”

Whichever camp you fall into, the stories and 150 recipes that adorn this book’s pages offer ample inspiration. There are lamb stews, quails stuffed with biryani, mango desserts, and even tips on how to crack coconuts open at home. (Talati’s favorite recipe is Dinaz Aunty’s curry; more on that below.) There are also images of Parsi libraries and places of worship; informal breakfast cafés and markets. Importantly, though, the book provides a portrait of the Parsi community, and what their culture looks like in today’s India—not to mention the Parsi dishes to seek out on your next trip.

Below, we share a selection of images from the book, taken across the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and the stories behind them—courtesy of Talati.

Click Here to view more, including some stunning photographs

 

DORABJEE & SONS RESTAURANT FEATURES IN THE TOP 5 ICONIC EATERIES IN PUNE

The Western part of India proudly heralds Pune as its beacon, not only as the student capital but also as a city that presents a plethora of exemplary food experiences to locals and travelers. Restaurants in Pune are champions when it comes to catering to Western cuisine fanatics and traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. Your taste buds will have a wonderful time at some of these places that we have hand-picked for you

 

Parsi Ras Chawal Is All Yummy

Tara Sutaria’s favourite recipe is here.

The Ek Villain Returns star, Tara Sutaria is a foodie to the core. She simply loves the Parsi delicacies that get made. She has something called Comfort Food, which is the amazingly delicious Parsi Ras Chawal.

Well, a report on recipes.timesofindia.com talked about what this dish is all about. We take reference from that story for our write up here.

It is a soupy Parsi dish made of chicken drumsticks or thighs, onions, potatoes, Parsi Sambhar Masala, and spices.

The ingredients required are – 500 gm chicken drumsticks, 2 potatoes, ginger garlic paste, 2 onions, 4 tomatoes, cumin seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder, 1 cup chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaves, garam masala, red chilli powder, mustard oil, black pepper.

Take a bowl and add chicken thighs along with salt and pepper. Also add ginger garlic paste. Pressure cook the contents. In oil put spices, and saute. Add onions, fry it, and then add tomatoes. Saute them well. Add cubed potatoes that are boiled in pressure cooker. Put the marinated chicken and cook for some time. Add chicken stock and stir it along with water. Cook for 2 whistles in the cooker.

It looks like this.

Wow!! This delicacy looks yummy!!

https://www.iwmbuzz.com/movies/snippets-movies/tara-sutarias-favourite-recipe-parsi-ras-chawal-is-all-yummy/2022/09/13

Parsi Veg Food? Yes, It’s A Thing!

Parsi cuisine has long been associated with meat, eggs, and fish. But more people in the community are slowly leaning toward a vegetarian diet for health and ecological sustainability.
India Currents’ resident foodie Mona Shah enjoys a drink with her Parsi pals. (photo courtesy of Mona Shah)

Overview

My parents loved throwing dinner parties mixing it up with diverse groups of people. My earliest memories are of animated discussions at the dinner table–about politics, food, theater and of course the all-important topic of money (how to make it, grow it, invest it and use it for the good of the larger community.) The atmosphere was always very lively and loud, be it voices or laughter. When I was about fourteen years old, one such guest was Shailesh uncle, a karate black belt who cut an imposing figure.

He convinced my dad to enroll me in a Goju-Ryu karate class with Sensei Pervez Mistry, and thus began my love affair with the Parsis and karate. Our dojo comprised of 70% Parsis and every evening for four hours, I practiced karate and hung out with my new Parsi friends and learnt about their culture, lifestyle and food. We all progressed through the ranks culminating in the highest honor–the black belt.

Parsi Cuisine Is Largely Non-Veg

This deep friendship continues here in the Bay Area, where five of us live. My “Parsi gang” as I call them, meet every Saturday with their tightly knit community of fellow Zoroastrians and what follows is a night of fun, food and laughter. However, the food choices are tough for a vegetarian like me. It is heavily “non-veg” with no vegetarian options in sight, except for Rai na Papeta and dal.

This dwindling community’s legacy is deeply intertwined with the rise of modern India, shaping the course of India and the world for centuries. So, this month as I wish all my Parsi friends a very happy Pateti (New Year), I also share with them some fabulous vegetarian Parsi recipes that they can make for me!

Ravaiya (Baingan Stuffed With Coconut Chutney

A riff on the Gujrati bharela ringan nu shaak, the Parsi version is quite different. It is a drier preparation with the brinjals/baingan being stuffed with a green coconut chutney. It’s pretty awesome served with Dhan Dar (recipe below) and rice or roti.

Ravaiya. (Wikimedia Commons licensed photo)

 

INGREDIENTS

For the Stuffing

  • 1 coconut, grated
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 10 chilies (adjust if you like it mild)
  • 2 garlic pods
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 20 mint leaves

Prep for Ravaiya/Baingan

  • 20 baby baingans
  • 1.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp oil

PREPARATION

  1. Take all the chutney ingredients and blend to make a smooth chutney using just enough water to make a smooth paste
  2. Rinse the baingans and make two slits lengthwise in each one, keeping the stems on
  3. Mix the turmeric, red chili powder and salt and rub this masala into each of the brinjals
  4. Now take the chutney and stuff each brinjal with about a tablespoon of the chutney taking care to ensure the baingans don’t split
  5. Let these rest for about 30 minutes to ensure the masala marinates
  6. In a pan heat the oil and shallow fry the baingans to lightly sear the skin. I would recommend using a broad pan so that you don’t crowd them and can turn each one easily. Use a light touch so as not to cause the chutney stuffing to seep out
  7. Once the baingans are seared, add in the remaining chutney along with a cup of water
  8. Cover and let the Ravaiya cook for about 15 – 20 minutes until the baingans become tender
  9. If the chutney dries up add a little water. You want to end up with a thick consistency, so add a little at a time

Dhan Dar

This is an everyday daal that is also made on auspicious occasion’s like New Year’s, anniversaries and birthdays. “Dhun” a Gujarati word means “wealth” and “Dar” is a translation of “Dal.”

Dhun dar. (Wikimedia Commons licensed photo)

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups toor dal (dried split pigeon peas) rinsed
  • 4 cups water + more for soaking
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons haldi (turmeric)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

PREPARATION

  1. Soak the toor dal in water for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Once soaked, drain out all the water. You will note that the raw dal has almost expanded by half its size.
  3. Next, pour the dal into the pressure cooker or instant pot with about 4 cups of water. Add in the turmeric and the salt.
  4. Cook on high until the cooker gives out 3 whistles and then another 10 minutes on low heat. If using instant pot, pressure cook for 11 mins and natural release. Once the dal is off the heat, you will need to wait a while before opening the cooker. The dal will have soaked up the water and it should look very thick.
  5. Give it a quick blend using a hand blender. Most people eat it like this.
  6. You can opt for a waghar (tadka). To do so, in a separate bowl, shallow fry some jeera, sliced onions and finely chopped garlic in ghee. Once the waghar is ready, pour into dal for extra creaminess. Sprinkle with sugar and cilantro leaves.

Paneer Akuri

Akuri is one of the signature eggs recipes of Parsi cuisine, here we make it with paneer.

Paneer akuri. (Wikimedia Commons licensed photo)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chilis finely chopped (de-seed if you like it mild)
  • 150 gm fresh paneer grated
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder or dhanjeeru
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (Kashmiri works best as it’s not too spicy, but gives a nice color)
  • 1/2 tsp haldi/urmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp sambhar masala
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 a small bunch of coriander
  • Salt to taste

PREPARATION

  1. In a pan add oil, garlic and green chillies, fry for a couple of minutes. Add in the onion and cook on low heat till it turns brown
  2. Add the masalas to the cooked the onions. Then add the tomatoes and cook the mixture, till they soften
  3. Add in part of the coriander and the grated paneer. Paneer can be salty so check the seasoning before adding salt as per your taste
  4. Top this butter
  5. Toss well,  garnish with fresh coriander

Sunita Sohrabji

Sunita Sohrabji is the Managing Editor of India Currents. 

Parsi Veg Food? Yes, It’s A Thing!

How this Parsi boy is ensuring Mumbai’s iconic wafer ice cream sandwich reaches the masses

Tandy’s Creamery was founded in 2019. The brand wants to make wafer ice cream sandwich reach the masses. Despite the ups and downs caused by the pandemic, the brand’s revenue is touching Rs 7 lakh a month.

Mumbai’s famous vada pav, akuri on toast, Bombay sandwich, and Bombil fry aside, there’s one other specialty that Mumbaikars hold true to heart — the wafer ice cream sandwich that K Rustom’s has been serving up for more than 50 years.

This iconic dessert sandwich is rather simple in concept — a thick slab of ice cream between two crisp wafers. Since the 1950s, Irani ice cream parlour K Rustom’s has been proudly dishing out this legendary dessert from its single outlet near Churchgate. Mumbai-based Parsi boy Jehan Mehta, who had grown up savouring this dessert, always thought it was special.

After completing his college education in the UK, Jehan returned to India. He knew his heart was not in the corporate world, and was keen on pursuing entrepreneurship, but a good solid idea was yet to strike.

Soon however, inspiration did strike — on a visit to K Rustom’s to grab an ice cream sandwich. Jehan realised how the age-old brand had kept its legacy intact with a loyal customer base, and that was a eureka moment for Jehan.

In a conversation with SMBStory, Jehan recalls, “I thought, why not take the sandwich ice cream across Mumbai, and perhaps even pan-India? Opening a franchise store of K Rustom’s seemed like an exciting idea.”

Jehan returned to K Rustom’s the very next day, but this time with a business proposal. He claims, “They had no plans of expanding their business and they didn’t agree to a franchise either. However, I was too inspired to let it go, and so, I decided I would take the initiative to make sure this local dessert reached across the city.”

In 2019, Jehan founded Tandy’s Creamery along with his school friend Soham Jhaveri. They set up the factory in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi area from where they delivered orders. Now, the brand is opening its first outlet in the city’s densely populated area, Charni Road.

Ice cream sandwich for the masses

Jehan and Soham invested around Rs 75 lakh in total to set up an ice cream factory, bring in raw materials, and the required manpower. In January 2020, the duo began selling their ice cream sandwich online.

“We started out from Prabhadevi in Mumbai, advertising through social media, and of course, word-of-mouth helped too. We started getting a good response,” Jehan recalls.

Within the first two months alone, Tandy’s had sold around one thousand ice cream sandwiches.

Tandy's Creamery

Tandy’s Creamery wafer ice cream

However, before Jehan could start distributing to other areas, the pandemic hit India, followed by strict lockdowns that led to the closure of many businesses.

“We didn’t know how to react. We had invested some money and that was blocked. There were absolutely no sales for the next few months, and we were left wondering what would happen next,” admits Jehan.

Adding to the circumstances were all the fears associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, like people were increasingly worried about consuming cold desserts. The duo racked their brains to understand how to revive the business, and soon decided they had to pivot to stay relevant, which had them launching a B2B dairy besides running the ice cream brand.

Pivoting to sustain

Jehan discovered that local retailers were experiencing a shortage of milk. So, using his network and resources, he collaborated with a dairy farm in the outskirts of Mumbai to supply milk to retailers. Since this accidental foray, there has been no looking back.

Tandy’s Creamery soon started supplying milk and paneer to restaurants, hotels, bars, and more. And once the restrictions started easing and markets opened up, Jehan saw that ice cream sales were increasing too.

Today, Tandy’s Creamery sources 1,200 litres of milk for its daily supplies, and receives around 6,000 orders for ice cream every month. The founder claims the brand’s revenue is touching approx Rs 7 lakh a month.

With around 50 clients in its B2B business, the brand has also introduced regular ice cream packs for consumers and tub ice creams for B2B sales. 

Tandy’s wafer ice cream sandwich prices start from Rs 50 onwards. “We want to cater to the masses hence, we operate at a nominal price,” says Jehan.

He claims Tandy’s Creamery uses all natural flavours and is a vegetarian brand with no preservatives in its ice creams.

Challenges and the way ahead

Jehan is candid when he talks about his challenges, and says that supply chain is one of the biggest problems for SMBs like them in the industry.

“In the initial phase, we had to suffer a lot due to lack of cold-chain supply infrastructure for a small-level business like ours. But, we worked on it and now we have bought our own refrigerated van through which we deliver our orders,” he adds.

Although the brand has expanded in every way, Jehan is clear that his initial goal is yet to be fulfilled — he wants to ensure Tandy’s sandwich ice creams reach the nooks and corners of Mumbai by early next year. By December this year, Tandy’s Creamery would have two more outlets, one each in Churchgate and Andheri.

The company also plans to be available on food aggregator apps. Jehan also plans to introduce a sugar free ice cream range soon.

From Grandma’s Recipes to Michelin Star Restaurants – Chef Shahzad Bhathena

Shahzad Bhathena, the former head chef and R&D chef at the Indian Summer Restaurant in Colombo, is a budding global icon at just 24 years of age! Leading the team at Indian Summer is just one of his many accolades and accomplishments. Shahzad has gained experience at Michelin star restaurants in various parts of the world and is currently in Santa Monica, USA. We had a chat with Shahzad about his passion and profound journey in the culinary arts and the hospitality industry.

  1. Give us a short introduction about yourself.

I am Shahzad and I was born and raised in India. I moved to Bahrain a few years later and I started my professional career as an apprentice at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bahrain. I worked across multiple restaurants stationed in the hotel, cooking a variety of cuisines and catering for large-scale functions and weddings as well. I later left for Spain to complete my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, where I graduated with honours and distinction from Les Roches Institute of Hospitality in Marbella.

  1. Were you always inspired by the culinary arts? What was your inspiration behind starting your career in the culinary arts?

If my memory serves me right, I always loved food ever since I was a kid. I grew up with my grandparents, who were both fantastic cooks. I was always intrigued by them and was inquisitive as to how they made simple ingredients taste so good; I would always end up sneaking into the kitchen to get a peek or two while they would cook. Eventually, my grandmother started teaching me how to cook; she taught me recipes passed down from one generation to another. And once I was cooking in the kitchen, there was no turning back, and I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I used to spend all my free time in the kitchen, trying new recipes, and eventually, the kitchen turned into my safe haven. Cooking was what I would do to relieve stress. Furthermore, as I grew up, I came to realize that the culinary arts embody a much broader spectrum of activities than what people believe. It provided me with a platform to explore my creativity while simultaneously doing something I love!

  1. Which restaurants have you worked at throughout your career of being a chef?

My professional career started when I was an apprentice at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bahrain. Afterwards, I went on to work as a Stagiaire at ‘Benu’ in San Francisco, which is amongst the 50 best restaurants in the world and is also the recipient of 3 Michelin stars. After my stage at Benu, I was offered the opportunity to gain further experience at their sister restaurant, ‘In Situ’, located at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In Situ had also received 1 Michelin star, and I worked there for roughly a year. During the pandemic, I worked as the Head Chef and R&D chef at Indian Summer Restaurant in Sri Lanka. During this time, I spearheaded the launch of a new restaurant called Global Kitchen. Meanwhile, I also carried out a consultancy role for the restaurant 343 Degrees North in Nigeria. Currently, I am at Mélisse in Santa Monica, a restaurant that has been awarded 2 Michelin stars!

  1. How would you describe your experience working at Michelin Star restaurants?

I learned so much from working at Michelin star restaurants, and I was really able to polish my skills and push myself out of my comfort zone to deliver what’s expected of me every day. The quality of the service at Michelin Star restaurants is top-notch, so everyone in the kitchen is extremely disciplined, focused and hardworking. I was also able to put my creativity to the test when experimenting with various flavors and plating dishes in unique ways.

  1. Tell us about your journey being the Head Chef of the Indian Summer restaurant in Sri Lanka?

It was definitely a very challenging role for me as I was moving into a managerial position at a young age, and I had to learn how to work with people who were twice my age. But the challenge is what made the journey worthwhile and successful.

  1. What is the Global Kitchen and what is the idea behind this street food concept?

The idea of Global Kitchen came to me one evening while I was eating at the food stalls by the beach at Galle Face in Colombo. I noticed that the presence of street food from different parts of the world was missing at these stalls and that people were not aware of it. Thus, I came up with the concept for a restaurant which would collectively serve the best street food from different parts of the world! Global Kitchen is currently located in Kandy.

  1. What is the creative process like when you develop recipes and experiment with different flavors?

The creative process is not as beautiful as how the final dish turns out. There are always ups and downs, and many times, you need to go back to the drawing board and brainstorm to get things together. But the trial and errors are what help in the creative process. It all starts from an idea, and seeing that idea come to life is the most satisfying feeling for any artist or, in this case, chef!

  1. Tell us about the 343 Degrees North restaurant in Nigeria and its significance?

343 degrees North is a restaurant which provides a unique experience like no other place does in Nigeria. Dining and visiting the restaurant is almost like making a statement and embarking upon a journey for an unforgettable experience. Being a consultant, I tried to create a menu that would not only suit the local food palette but also work in perfect harmony with the vibe and atmosphere of the restaurant.

  1. What is one of the most valuable lessons that you have learnt during the span of your career in the culinary industry so far?

I would say that the most valuable lesson I have learned is that there are no shortcuts to getting to the top in the culinary industry. You have to be prepared and willing to put in the hard work and long hours to get to the highest level. And having a great mentor during this process is essential since you will pick up those habits and practices early on in your professional career. As long as there is passion, the sky is the limit in this industry.

  1. What is the future like for Shahzad? What are some future goals that you are working towards achieving?

I’m currently under the guidance and mentorship of Ian Scaramuzza at Mélisse in Santa Monica. We have already received 2 Michelin stars, and my team and I are pushing ourselves on a daily basis to gain the ultimate accolade of the culinary world, 3 Michelin stars!

https://www.newswire.lk/2022/06/16/from-grandmas-recipes-to-michelin-star-restaurants/

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