Director - Culinary Excellence at Thunderbird Resorts, Daman
Editor: tell us about your journey. How did it all start?
Vineet Manocha: I started professional cooking while I was still studying in school.
When my friends were playing, I was learning the intricate nuances of cooking from my uncle, a wedding caterer, in Delhi. This interest in cooking made me join Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, New Delhi.
My career started at Le Meridien, New Delhi and besides Delhi I have also worked in Bahrain, Goa, Mumbai, Liverpool-UK, Philippines and Jeddah before moving to Daman.
In my 18 years of culinary experience, I’ve been associated with known brands like The Oberoi, Grand Hyatt and Radisson.
Prior to joining Thunderbird Resorts, I worked with the Saudi Arabian Airlines, responsible for their menu planning and selection worldwide. Setting up new projects is my strength. I am adept in F&B conceptualization, menu planning, designing new kitchens and production of Indian, European, Asian and New World Cuisines.
Thorough knowledge of ingredients, cooking methods, their application and adaptability, make my culinary creations, unique.
Also, I am an avid trainer.
Presently I am working as the Director - Culinary Excellence of Thunderbird Resorts, Daman, India.
Thunderbird Resorts, is a South American company operating Hotels, Resorts and Casinos at various places, across the globe. Besides 177 rooms, 7 food & beverage outlets and banqueting capacity of 1500 pax - indoors, the Daman property will also have India’s first and largest Las Vegas style Casino on premise.
Editor: What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry?
Vineet Manocha: One has to be absolutely passionate for whatever work he chooses and then work hard with dedication and integrity.
Always do your best with perseverance and a smile. Success is directly proportional to your own efforts.
Editor: What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring?
Vineet Manocha: I look for inquisitiveness and attitude to learn. Another important attribute I look for is humbleness.
Editor: What according to you can trainees do while they are training at hotels to make it a win-win for them & the hotel/unit?
Vineet Manocha: It is very important that trainees grasp the operational practical aspects of various lessons taught to them in the hotel schools and then apply both together in their day to day work. A more professional approach towards learning will help them become better hoteliers in future.
A trainee, who understands that whatever hard work he/she puts in during training is for his/her betterment only, is a sure shot winner.
In the bargain the hotels also benefit as we get well-trained resources.
Editor: Tell us a little about your average day
Vineet Manocha: My day starts with a 30 minute meditation and “Prana” yoga, a quick breakfast and I reach the hotel around 8 am.
I walk around all the food & beverage areas to check the work completion. Since we are in pre-opening/ project stage, I spend most of my time in forward planning, menu trials, vendor meetings and team training sessions. An afternoon round and follow-up with the vendor contractors is followed by a chefs’ meeting and kitchen trials / trade tests and interviews. Evening is usually spent socializing and discovering Daman.
Editor: How do keep abreast of all that is happening in hospitality?
Vineet Manocha: I read trade magazines and journals both online and printed which are a very good medium of awareness. In addition, I visit various hotels, speak to our sales team and attend hospitality trade shows to keep abreast of latest trends and happenings.