Chef Vicky Ratnani, author and celebrity chef focuses on getting fresh and seasonal ingredients in his menu. Talking to restaurant India he shares his experience as a culinary director at F&B Asia.
On evolution of Indian food palate
The industry has gone leaps and bounds, earlier we have only fine dine restaurants in India, where people have the choice to visit either a five star restaurants or family-type restaurants. But today we can see different types of restaurants based on theme and cuisine opening. They have choice now. At the same time, in terms of raw materials there is much more options available today. Different types of establishment, accessibility to good resources can be seen now.
The changing taste
With people travelling more, export and import policies becoming more easy, people are becoming more open to international flavours. There is demarcation of foods and cuisine- lebanese cuisine, Chinese cuisine, French cuisine, European cuisine, Spanish cuisine, Japanese cuisine and the list goes on. Today, the taste has evolved a lot.
Healthy food becoming the preferred choice
Healthy eating is very mood oriented. However, the health element is pretty high among consumer these days and is supported by two elements- price and calories which go hand in hand.
Restaurants including healthier option
People are becoming conscious about what they eat, how they eat. How others eat and are following trend. Health and wellness is the top priority these days. And what the guest want we like to give that in our menu.
Percentage of healthy eaters
There are certain dishes that we actually create in order to make it slight healthier without making it a hospital food or a plane food. The ratio is however 30:70 in the healthy eating.
Cooking for cruises and ships
It was a big influence in my life in terms of learning various menu, various dishes with knowledge of international cuisine and culture. It was really great working with 37 different nationalities and learning and adopting their skills.
Creating menu for restaurant
I create menu for all my restaurants. Seasonal ingredients, menu, price and of course clientele are some basic elements which I keep in mind while creating my menu.
Role as a culinary director at F&B Asia
My role is to look after food operations, standardisation of foods, progressively thinking about menu and executing them in cooking.
Mumbai v/s Delhi culinary scene
Mumbai and Delhi both are known for their street foods. However, Mumbai is typically the trendsetter with lots of standalone restaurants. People here are a bit more adventurous and experimental when it comes to food.
A Delhi person believes in luxury-eating. People here still chose to eat at five-star hotels when they go out for dinner. In Mumbai, there is more progress in the restaurant scene and more hip places to eat.
On the other hand, Delhi has the best northern Indian cuisine in the country. And lots of foreign brands entering the city with expose to tourist and diplomatic crowd as the city has more resources.