Yesterday, I made a trip to Vadodara. First halt was at Hotel Surya Palace where I was there especially to visit the hotel management school being run by a very dear friend and his wife. This Hotel School is affiliated to a university in Switzerland. I cam across some beautiful premises well executed, a practical kitchen, learned faculty and a very good bunch of smart and enthusiastic students. I spoke to the students and the faculty, wished them well, complimented the management and came out impressed.
The second halt was at a factory to make frozen food , mainly for exports belonging to the same group. I was amazed to this state of the art factory being run by this 27 year old lad with such a vision and clarity. We had to remove all our accessories before entering the production area and we were covered from head to toe with protective clothing’s including a mask.
It was the same scene inside with all the employees as if we were in a pharmaceutical company. This standard was as good as any other premium factory in a developed country or to match HACCAP or ISO standards. Food was being made by Chefs and then it was packaged and blast frozen in a very scientific and methodical way. Post that I shared my lunch with the owner and a colleague of mine in the factory itself, most efficiently served. The only speciality about the lunch was that it was made 5 months ago and everything was tasting fresh and tasty. Then we had a photo session with all the staff. From here also I came out very happy and impressed. Things are actually happening in towns other than metros.
Already late by 2 hours I proceeded to my next destination Ahmedabad. Here, I was to finalise a place for my restaurant brand ‘The Yellow Chilli’s‘ next outlet. Post doing that, by midnight I was back to my Karam bhoomi – Mumbai.
Till I write again.
Flying out to Delhi late tonight. Tomorrow at 11 am I will be at Hotel Surya Crown Plaza in Friends Colony for a live cookery demonstration for the members of Swar Manjari Club. It is a wonderful platform to demonstrate the Ballarini cookware, tools and appliances as also to promote the opportunity that Wonderchef presents to women to create a business of their own. What I enjoy the most is the interactive session with the audience where I can really connect with all…this is the actual moment of feeling the pulse of the audience and then taking your food related queries and suggestions further, mostly using Khana Khazana show as the takeoff point.
In the evening I will be at Noida to shoot infomercials for Wonderchef venture with Home Shop 18. I am looking forward to it as it involves cooking of many of my favourite recipes in these beautiful and state of the art cookware from Ballarini and Pavoni of Italy. Hectic but interesting. Shall keep you posted. Delhi, here I come !!
Till I write again
It was great yesterday, with a lot of time spent with my idol Chef Satish Arora of TajSats. Chef Arora is an institution and has been a reference point for me throughout my career. I had been under the impression that chefs are rash, brash with lots of ego till I met up with Chef Satish Arora many many, years ago.
He is a complete contrast: a picture of humility and modesty. We can learn a lot from him especially duplicate the passion he still feels for his standing with the Taj group (completing 43 years). He was gracious enough to take out time from his busy schedule and have a personalised workshop with all of us at KKIPL. He is a guiding light for the budding chefs and I am sure all of us gained many insights from his talk.
He was accompanied by Chef Sanjay Kak who spoke about positive attitude being half the battle won! Chef Kak also shared how a winning attitude is created when one is convinced about oneself. He has also advised that one should never write off anything, just change the way one handles the situation. We had a nice quick lunch together and then they left.
Memories are made of these. Sharing experiences, good and bad, are the true teachers in life.
Till I write again.