HEAD CHEF at COLUMBIA ASIA
Q: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
A: I passed out my hotel management from IHM Bangalore in the year 2003. After which I joined Taj Residency Bangalore, as a Trainee Chef de Partie. It was a good learning experience as a fresher as I was swung into action from the very 1st day. Burnt my fingers to learn most of cuisines like; Oriental/Indian/Continental/Garde Manger. Until the year 2005 I underwent many on- the- job and cross exposure trainings, also got some certifications done like; HACCP & ISO14001.
On September 2005 I joined Sharjah Grand Hotel in UAE as a Garde Manger CDP. Handling a good number of people under my supervision I implemented many process relating to the storage / Hygiene and also HACCP related. Taking care of buffet/ alacarte order, and also because of my ready- to – learn attitude, I worked in the tandoor/continental section of the Coffee shop kitchen.
I was promoted as a Senior Chef de partie from the following year. The Greatest Achievement of my life till date was when I was awarded by THE CULINARY GUILD, DUBAI a certificate of merit for the presentation of tapas, canapes, finger sandwiches in the year 2008. I returned to India , got through Columbia Asia Hospital as Sous Chef in the month of January 2009. It was a “new learning phase” for me, got a grip over the entire operations and in the month of august 2009 was promoted as a Head Chef .
In Columbia Asia, when compared to different hospitals, we do not serve “Hospital Food” to normal guests who come down. We actually cater to them with a different style/ approach and with a varied range of menu which has actually acted as an Ice Breaker that----- HOSPITAL FOOD CAN ALSO BEGOOD/TASTY/HYGIENIC. Also we have been picked up by ExploCity( a foodie magazine) as a health partner; food being the key parameter.
Q: HOW IS IT WORKING IN THE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY? BETTER OR DIFFERENT?
A: It is not the question of good or better—It’s simply how passionate are you towards, food and handling the same. It is very different when compared to running a business like the hotels or restaurants. We in the healthcare cant afford to go back to the guest (the guest being diabetic) saying sorry by mistake I served you dessert with the meal that you ordered for...”Its A Sin” .
Yes it is challenging , but personally speaking “ Who says life is a bed of roses?”
Q: WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU IS THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS IN FOOD PRODUCTION?
A: Its not only about food production, in general any individual: Who is passionate about the job, With the right attitude and temperament, Ready to learn attitude , A good team player Hard working, diligent And yes nevertheless the right kind of educational qualification; would always score high and is the key to success.
Q: HOW CAN ASPIRING CANDIDATES JOIN COLUMBIA ASIA?
A: I think the answer to this question lies in the above listed points.
Q: WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE TO PEOPLE STUDYING HOTEL MANAGEMENT?
A: My advice would be ---- WORK HARD, DO NOT LOOK FOR QUICK/EASY MONEY, MAKE YOUR PROPS STRONG ENOUGH (WITH KNOWLEDGE& PRACTICAL WORK EXPERIENCE), AND ALSO FEEL FOR THE ORGANIZATION AS IF ITS YOUR OWN BABY (ALTHOUGH THIS DEVELOPS AT THE LATER STAGE OF WORK LIFE).