Mexican chef Eduardo Perez has been a part of the vibrant food industry for the past decade. Not only has he featured in various TV shows as a specialist chef, but has also been a restaurant critic in his home country.
When in India to get a Mexican food fest going, chef Perez can’t help but draw similarities between Indian and his home cuisine. “Indian and Mexican cuisines are very similar, actually. The main difference I suppose is that we use peppers and chillies to spice up our food and Indians use various spices,” says chef Perez, in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Having started his career as a restaurant manager in 2004 in the city of Cancun, Mexico, chef Perez moved on to open his own restaurant in 2009. Driven by his love for food, he completed his chef’s major degree from The International School of Chefs, Mexico. He is, however, also proficient in French and Chinese cuisines. “Just a working knowledge, really,” he says modestly.
And his favourite cuisine? You guessed it — Indian! “Not the Indian food you get in other countries though; only the real deal in India,” he clarifies and adds, “There’s an authenticity that is missing in Indian cuisine served outside India, the ingredients are a poor substitution, at best.”
Ask him about his favourite Indian dish, and “Dosa!” comes the pat reply. Travelling to France soon after, he laughs that in France, people make their own rules regarding food, and you better follow them!
As for following recipes to the dot, he believes there’s always room for improvisation. “Recipes are only a guideline, not always the final word,” says he. And, it’s not just a male-dominated world in the kitchen anymore either, says he, “Women, I believe, are more creative than us and work harder; the effort they put into food speaks for itself.”