Chef Subrata Debnath, Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency, Chennai has over 22 years of experience in working in the kitchen. Talking to Restaurant India, he shares \'basics of managing and serving the best food to the customers\'.
How do you see the shift in eating habits of Indian consumers?
People are well travelled today, in terms of selecting what they want to eat. On the other hand, media is also contributing a lot by organising chefs events. Meanwhile, young crowd has also developed a taste of the healthy and hygienic food which they do not want to compromise on. So, people are becoming experimental, demanding and well experienced, in terms of their eating habits.
What strategy you apply at Hyatt to maintain the nutrition quotient of the food?
We have included the concept of live cooking at our restaurants, where the chefs cook in front of the customers to maintain the healthiness and freshness of food. People eat 60 percent of the food through eyes and that's why we believe in serving fresh food to our customers.
How do you design menu at your restaurants?
We have eight restaurants inside Hyatt and all menus are designed separately by a group of chefs under my guidance. We try to give both - local and authentic regional taste to each of restaurants, serving a particular food or cuisine. We have also started serving street food, catering to the needs of international customers, giving them a taste of our local food. For Chinese and Italian restaurants, we have expert chefs who ensure serving of food in authentic manner. We also change our menu in every four months to give value for money to the customer as well as to encourage creativity of chefs in food.
What are the essentials of food that needs to be taken care of when managing a kitchen?
To manage and run a kitchen smoothly, you must plan your day. You need to prepare a chart mentioning details of your entire day. Working on recipes, photo sessions of good food and the basics of cooking can help you run a kitchen smoothly. Being a chef you have to be confident about your creation and keeping an eye on detailing is the key in kitchen.
What you do to bring out the best flavours in your cooking?
I think cooking is something which needs involvement of heart. Crafting your dishes with love, passion and artistic touch will help you bring the best flavours out.
What advise you would like to give to the aspiring chefs in the industry?
They must keep an eye on detailing. Young chefs have to be positive about what they are cooking and serving. At the same time, they must also take responsibility, have patience and apply no shortcuts in the kitchen.