Explosivefashion Logo
 

CHEF SADAB QURESHI

Jasmeen Dugal  (click here to know more about this blogger)

Indian Masterchef, Westin Gurgaon New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa, Chef Sadab Qureshi is spearheading Indian cuisine for both hotels. Hailing from Lucknow, his passion for Awadhi cuisine was stoked when he explored the narrow lanes of the city with his father and grandfather, to observe and relish authentic cuisine. Today, he has an enviable portfolio including Taj Lands End, Mumbai and The Westin Pune Koregaon Park and several interesting assignments. Over to him.

 

''I grew up around food. My father, who also happened to be my first teacher, was a master in Awadhi cuisine. He would often work with khansamas and ustaads and I would eagerly listen to them discuss everything from recipes and flavours to little tricks that made a huge difference. The more I heard them talk, the more I was drawn to them. Even after being in the business for so long they would talk so passionately about food, endlessly and tirelessly. That's when I realized it's important to pursue your passion and my journey to becoming a chef, began.

 

I vividly remember my first day of working in a professional kitchen; though it was a small one, I learnt a lot. I learnt it's important to plan and be organized. And while we all love compliments we should have an open mind to suggestions and recommendations. It's also important to follow norms that form the ethos of a cuisine. For example, we love adding ginger and garlic to our food but in Awadhi cuisine, one should not add garlic to a dish that has saffron in it. The pungent flavour of garlic overpowers the delicate flavour of saffron. Many such teachings from my early days in cooking form the basis of anything I attempt today. My passion is my food! I get up each morning eager to come to work, cook good food, teach something valuable to my juniors and make diners happy. The fact that my work can bring so much happiness to others' lives is icing on the cake. Also, the fact that cooking is a means of staying connected to my roots. I go back to Lucknow often to research stories, recipes and ingredients that help me pursue my passion with more zeal. Also, when one works with hotels like The Westin Gurgaon, where one is given complete freedom in preparing the menu, one wants to bring one's best to work. My passion for cooking comes from within and I believe in sharing happiness with the world, through food. 

 

While cooking, I place importance on attention to detail, focus, timing of using spices and freshness of ingredients. The most essential item in my kitchen is fresh produce. I don't like cooking with frozen food. Whatever is seasonal is what goes in my menu as fresh produce lends a different appeal to the cuisine. Be it vegetables or meat it has to be freshly procured. Another essential — a strong team; no restaurant can survive with a chef. One needs a team of cooks on the same page, with good communication and having each other's backs. I expect everyone in my team to cook with love. When we add an element of love to our food and serve it with a smile, half the battle is won. Infact, the only advice I would share is to be focused, cook good food, stay true to your roots… and success will follow. At 18, if you had told me that one day I would be where I am today, I would have laughed really hard!!

 

My core focus is to have an open mind. I, along with my team, get together often to discuss culinary trends, standalone restaurants that are giving hotels healthy competition and what the diner is missing. Today diners don't eat out only on occasions. They eat out because they love food. In addition, affluent young Indians live away from home and prefer eating out to cooking for one. They look for good food cooked using quality produce, in the healthiest way possible. They are open to experimentation but loyal to classics. The idea is to strike a balance. Also, diners today are knowledgeable, travelled and strive for authenticity on the menu. They are willing to go the extra mile or pay a certain price for heritage cuisine. Home-style food is being reconnoitred even while eating out. Sure, today diners are conscious about health and want to know what goes into the preparation of each dish, but they are not willing to compromise on the taste! That inspires us chefs to transform a bland meal into a gourmet dish!! I feel the inquisitive palate is one of the most exciting things about the culinary industry right now. We take our food seriously and it has the power to make or break an occasion. So a lot of investment is happening on research, travel, recipes, techniques which makes the process exciting. I like theme based food festivals. It is a nice way to bond with people who share a similar palate, exchange stories, learn about a certain culture etc. Global trends like using local sustainable ingredients have been in use for a while now and it is here to stay which adds perspective to the farm-to-table concept. People want to eat fresh with locally sourced produce as opposed to canned products. Regional and sub-regional cuisines will get more of a boost in times to come, as more and more people are going back to their roots. Diners today are not cautious about what to eat, but also about how much to eat, hence proportion, as a trend, is set to gain traction.

 

Personally speaking, the proudest achievements in my culinary journey is the day my father tasted the first ever Gilawat Ke Kebab I cooked. He, being an excellent cuisine master, could have perceive in the first bite itself if I had missed something or where I could have gone overboard but he didn't say anything… I could see pride in his eyes and from the next day itself he began grooming me seriously for a gastronomic career. That was the day I had earned his trust and became a part of his culinary legacy…''
 

Chef Sadab Qureshi
Indian Masterchef, Westin Gurgaon New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa, Chef Sadab Qureshi
 
06-AUGUST-2019
 
Share us on :
Join us on:  
 
0 Comments
 
Post a Comment
 

MORE BLOGS BY Jasmeen Dugal

 
2019-06-15 20:45:46 CHEF AKANKSHA DEAN
 
2019-06-08 13:40:20 EXECUTIVE CHEF ANURUDH KHANNA
 
2019-04-04 15:41:38 CHEF MASSIMILIANO SPERLI
 
2019-02-15 20:56:17 Aradhana Lal- VP Sustainability Initiatives- Lemon Tree
 
2019-02-06 19:16:22 PRIDE PLAZA HOTEL VICE PRESIDENT PANKAJ MATHUR
 
2018-08-21 13:26:20 IN CONVERSATION WITH CHEF ALEX MOSER
 
2018-07-12 13:57:03 RADISSON BLU PLAZA DELHI GENERAL MANAGER ASHWANI GOELA
 
2018-06-30 15:32:05 AAMRA
 
2018-05-27 11:49:54 FROM CORPORATE ICON SANGEETA KURIAKOS TO CHEF SANGY
 
2018-05-25 14:16:20 KAVITA BAGGA, KARA ORGANICS ON THE ORGANIC LIFE
 
2018-05-25 08:06:30 MEET RESTAURATEUR AND CHEF RITU DALMIA
 
2018-05-24 12:05:49 DEEPAK RAWAT, F&B DIRECTOR, ROSEATE HOUSE AND RESORT
 
2018-05-02 12:06:51 GAURAV DEB, GM, THE LALIT GRAND PALACE
 
2018-04-28 07:38:16 MEET ITC RAJPUTANA GENERAL MANAGER RISHIRAJ SINGH
 
2018-01-14 13:01:31 IN CONVERSATION WITH RESTAURATEUR RAMNEEK PANTAL
 
2017-07-09 14:20:03 IN CONVERSATION WITH RESTAURATEUR AMAN BHANDARI
 
2016-03-27 07:41:21 MICHELIN STAR CHEF SEBASTIAN SANJOU
 
2015-07-11 14:04:46 SERIAL RESTAURATEUR PRIYANK SUKHIJA
 
2015-01-20 03:35:55 IN CONVERSATION WITH RESTAURATEUR RAJIV ANEJA