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Chef of the year

india Updated: Sep 18, 2010 00:41 IST

Who’s the city’s top chef? As part of our quest, we will feature five chefs who are doing exciting things in Delhi kitchens. The American Express Chef of the Year winner will be announced on the night of the HT City Crystals People’s Choice Awards 2010.

The nominees:
Sabyasachi Gorai (Olive restaurants - Delhi, ai and Lap)
Manish Mehrotra (Indian Accent and Tamarai)
Pitamber Dutt Satyawalli (Sartoria)
Naveen Thapa (Zanotta)
Vikramjeet Roy (Wasabi by Morimoto)
Today we feature a one-on-one with...

At what age did you want to be a chef? While pursuing 1st year of Hotel Management. The details taught on ‘kitchen’ as a subject invoked interest in me to be a chef.
Your favourite cuisine: Italian.
Best dish you’ve ever made: Ash roasted sweet potato, herb yoghurt, gaanth gobhi carpaccio, crisp okra.
The worst dish you’ve made to date: None
Whackiest dish you have created: Toffee Chyawanprash Cheese Cake served with Badam Milk.
Favourite restaurant in the world, and why? Per Se, New York.
Favourite restaurant in Delhi: La Piazza, Hyatt.
Favourite street food in Delhi: Vaishno Chaat, Kamla Nagar.
Best thing about being a chef: You get the opportunity and freedom to be creative. You also get to see the world.
Worst thing about being a chef: You never get to eat proper meals at proper times.
Most memorable moment as a chef: The opening of Tamarai, London.
Chef(s) that have inspired you: Chef Thomas Keller of Per Se. My second favourite is Chef Tetsuya, a Japanese chef working in Sydney.
Best compliment you’ve received: Every compliment I receive is precious as I believe cooking is about spreading happiness.
One thing you’d like to change about the profession: Work timings.
Thoughts on Delhi’s current food scene? It’s now comparable to the contemporary food scenario in the most happening places on the globe.
Plans for the future? Opening Tamarai and Indian Accent in all the major food destinations. I’m also planning to train a few underprivileged children in the art of cooking.