An interview with Chef Davinder Kumar, President, Indian Culinary Forum (ICF), and Vice President, F&B, Le Meridien, New Delhi.
Davinder Kumar, who is known for taking the Indian cuisine to the next level, talks about the evolution of Indian food connoisseurs, the food and beverages trend in the country and also the right recipe for the food business.
On F&B trend in India
Today people are looking for casual restaurants. The restaurants serving creative cuisine using local produce and offering an interactive environment between customer and chefs has become a trend.
Evolution of Indian food Connoisseurs
Looking at globalisation, awareness and the lifestyle of current generations, people are now looking forward to very lighter cuisine. They do not go for the traditional food which is so heavy- heavily garnished, heavily saucy. Today the focus is more on health, today people want innovation in their food because they are well travelled and well aware about what they want to eat.
On execution of menus and creating unique recipes for Customers
Profile of the customer, the availability of the produce, the man power or the resources, the feasibility and the trend which the industry is going through are major essentials in creating unique recipe for your customer. Today’s customer wants quality product and service with differentiation.
On Tipping in Restaurants
Tipping has always been a trend in the restaurant industry but I think this should not be entertained when we talk about service because restaurants are including service charge now. The restaurant should focus on quality service, quality products so, tipping in my opinion is now a part of small restaurants; restaurants at large are eliminating it.
On food shows and participation of the budding chefs in such shows
At every event organised by ICF, we are trying to make it big and even bigger, making it to the international level and adding more live food shows (live culinary competition) where individual chefs can showcase their culinary skills.
The budding chefs are very eager to participate in such culinary competition. To them, there is always a feeling of doing something different, to show creativity and innovation, showing the world something unique by presenting their culinary skills.
My expertise is in French cuisine. I was trained in France, and there after having a long journey in the profession, I experimented with many cuisines. So, it gives me a strong coordination today that ‘when you know the rhythm, you can play any music.’
‘Right Recipe’ for food business in India
Consistent quality, service with smile and great hospitality with the fusion of local flavours make a recipe good. The original and natural taste that is derived from our traditional food is the right recipe to do the food business in India though we need to improvise some tweaks to our traditional food by making it healthier and lighter.