In an interaction with Restaurant India, Chef Shamsul Wahid, Smoke House Deli, shares about his love for food and turning his love into a passion.
Being born in a household that loves to cook and eat, becoming a chef came naturally to Chef Shamsul Wahid. Food is the very popular topic of conversation in chefs family which made him try his hands into the cooking.
And, as he was always a well fed happy kid, he knew what good food tastes like. “I remember cooking when I was in Class 6th. I took up a Hotel management course from IHM Mumbai in which I learned a lot of my basics, which I still apply to my cooking,” shared Chef Wahid.
What all things come along in designing your restaurant menu?
We at Smoke House have a very guest friendly approach in making the menu. Our menus are a sum total of our classic hot sellers from the past, new dishes which show case new techniques and the dishes we think are simple but do appeal to the guests in general.
What menu tweaks are you planning to introduce to stand out from the crowd?
We always add our little twist to conventional dishes before putting it on the menu. It can either be from sourcing like using imported tomatoes for our tomato sauce or techniques like smoking and brining of meats, to something very instinctive like our take on a regular agile oleo. All the dishes have a special Smoke house stamp.
Tell something about the supply chain management in your restaurant. Who are the suppliers? Can you name some?
We use a variety of suppliers that cater to our different needs. The Chicken comes from Godrej for purely hygiene reasons. We take our vegetables fresh everyday from our local supplier, Vinod Vegetables. Our Bakery mixes come from Eureka Foods and the milk and milk products come from Amul.
Comment on the involvement of senses in the restaurant?
I think the modern age diner is always looking for something more. Though good food is an absolutely essential, the presentation and ambience are also very important as people look for experiences rather than meals nowadays.
What are the different types of cuisines served at your restaurant?
We serve Modern European Cuisine at our restaurants.
What is the contribution of a good menu in restaurant business? How are new techniques in food helping the restaurant grow?
Good Menu is the core of a restaurant. Apart from having stellar dishes, the menu needs to be balanced in all aspects and must have enough variety to cater to a large audience and as an all day establishment it needs to have much more variety to suit the needs of people at different times of the day .
It is said that “sales in Indian restaurants are dropping.” What are the reasons for this?
I don’t think sales are dropping. If anything, it could be the magnum of restaurants that are opening so the guests have more options to try new things but ultimately come back to the restaurant they like.
How familiar are you with the legalities involved in opening a restaurant? Are you planning to open up your own restaurant?
I am not very familiar with the legalities involved in opening a restaurant, but I think even if one is it is always wise to go through a consultant. As a Chef I live life one dish at a time.
What according to you are the top trends that will drive the industry in 2016?
I think the trend will move towards healthy eating and more locally sourced organic products, something which has been a trend for a while but I believe it will become more refined and more vectorised catering to specific diets this year.