With a set direction towards attaining his dreams and carving his way by overcoming challenges faced over the years, he has reached the peak of success today. His warm hospitality makes customers want to visit the venue more often. An in depth knowledge on understanding different tastes of customers has helped him churn out the best combination of meals and menus that would not only bring satisfaction to customers but also leave them wanting more.
Here’s interviewing Sous Chef Aryesh Karambelkar from Indigo Deli, Mumbai.
- Your Role at Indigo.
At Indigo, I’m currently working as a Sous Chef. I’m responsible for 26 people working on my direction and I also take charge of the daily specials and other important offerings.
- What has inspired you to become a Chef?
As a child, I used to watch my father preparing delicious meals in the kitchen with simple ingredients. As I grew up, I delved into cooking as a form of art and read about the masters of the trade, namely Ferran Adria, Gordon Ramsay, Grant Achatz and Anthony Bourdain. Their approach to cooking and analyzing food inspired me to become a chef.
- When did you know you wanted to become a Chef?
In my schooling years, I knew I wasn’t meant for classical ‘studying.’ As I got exposed to cooking further, I realized that I could turn my passion for food into a legitimate career. I’d flip omelettes and make potato wedges for my tiffin box. Although they didn’t always turn out great, my father saw my interest in this field and egged me on to pursue this as a career. I had made up my mind by the 10th grade and I knew I wanted to become a Chef.
- What’s the one feeling you get when your customers praise you and your preparation?
It’s rightly said that one single customer can make or break your restaurant. Naturally, it gives me immense pleasure when I receive appreciation from my valued customers. It’s very humbling to see your hard work and efforts delivering when you need them to the most. Further, when a returning customer asks for a specific dish they had the last time, it assures my team and I that we are doing our job right.
- Share some interesting facts that you would want others / fellow Chefs to know about your experience in this journey that could inspire them.
I’d like to share two incidents with fellow chefs, and I believe they could use these stories. First, I was working for a 5-star company, where I had to deal with highly experienced chefs who were set in their ways and not open to new ideas. I was forced to work in environments I was not comfortable in, and I was treated disrespectfully. I worked through these negative elements and came out successful at the end, and earned their respect. Second, at one point I honestly considered giving up this profession because of illnesses and work problems. I sought help from my family and they were immensely supportive. I stepped back to take a breather and then I was back to the grind. I realized giving up would only make me feel worse.
- What challenges have you faced to reach this position in your life?
Throughout my career, I’ve worked in a host of different environments and various kitchens. Every working environment offers challenges that help me learn. For example, as the restaurant chef on board a cruise liner, I had to deal with consistency of preparation, working with limited resources, quick fixes for any problems that arose and most importantly, getting used to the sea’s turbulence while on board. Other places offered challenges such as sudden menu changes, miscommunication and sometimes, non-cooperative team members. All these challenges helped me grow not just as a chef but also as a person.
“ When a returning customer asks for a specific dish they had the last time, it assures my team and I that we are doing our job right.”
- That one childhood memory of food that you would want to share that has shaped your love for food and cooking.
A particular memory that sticks out in my mind is a time I had tried to help my dad make Steamed ‘modak’. My dad made it look incredibly easy as he rolled a piece with the tip of his index finger. When given a piece to roll myself, still very young, I was surprised to find how hard it actually was. This moment I knew that I wanted to be able to cook as my father could. The way he made it look so natural was extremely appealing to me, and I knew with hard work and practice, I too would be able to become as good a chef as him. The motivation that forced me to try harder has become something that has got me through my life so far. At every family occasion I looked forward to helping my father prepare meals in the kitchen. I never saw this as doing work because it was something that I loved doing. Regardless the occasion, food was always something that bonded everyone at the table. Being able to help my father prepare the dinner that brought the whole family together became my passion. My dad, who shares the same zeal for cooking as I, was always extremely enthusiastic when teaching me how to cook. The advice he shared with me and the excitement I felt when mastering new recipes drove my desire to learn more. I can honestly say that the love my father has for cooking is a characteristic which I have inherited.
- What’s that one dish that brings a smile to your face?
There is nothing more perfect than a brilliantly created Tiramisu. It always brings a smile to my face.
- Your Signature Dish that would like customers to try at Indigo.
The daily specials that I put out for my customers are all worth tasting. Although it is hard to pick one, I’d say the Grilled Steak and Seriously Sloppy Joe are two of my signature dishes that my diners would surely enjoy. You could also try my fusion dish, the Lamb shank with parmesan upma, grilled onions served with pan seared peaches with borolo mint sauce. (A Day Special on special request)
- Would you like to give a message to other aspiring Chefs.
To other aspiring chefs, I’d just like to say that when you’re in the kitchen, nothing ever comes easy. Focus on and perfect the basics before moving on to bigger things. And most importantly, never give up. No dish will ever come out perfect the first time you make it. It’s all about the effort.
- Your thoughts on Your Chef Story.
It's a beautiful concept. We get to know what other chefs are doing and what made them calibre chefs
Venue: Indigo Deli, Mumbai
Signature Dish: Seared Beef Burger with works