A warm smile and a welcoming persona defines Chef Russell Dsouza who is currently the Executive Sous Chef at the British Brewing Company, Palladium. He aims at creating a perfectly friendly ambiance when one visits this wonderfully designed venue having a vintage touch to it. He heads the kitchen operations here and expresses his joy as he has a free reign to run his kitchen and to introduce new dishes or remove ones that are not working. He says, “We’re constantly working on customer feedback, to introduce new dishes and desserts that would appeal to the customers here. Since the cuisine served here is primarily British and European/ Italian, it fits very sweetly into exactly what I’ve specialized in.”
Here’s getting to know the Chef Russell and his journey towards reaching success in the culinary world.
Journey Towards Success
Having worked for over 13 years in India and internationally, he is exposed to different cultures and cuisines. He started his career with ITC Grand Maratha in the year 2004, and went on to work for The Raheja properties (The Resort). In the year 2007, he joined Saudi Airlines catering, since he wanted to explore how catering in the hospitality industry works where he was exposed to authentic Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisine. From there on, in 2010 he joined P & O Cruises, specializing in Italian cuisine. On the cruise, he was responsible for their Italian restaurant under the name of Seventeen which was helmed by Marco Pierre White.
After a couple of years he decided to return to India as he wanted to be close to his family and friends. In 2012, he joined Pan India Food Solutions, for their restaurant Spaghetti Kitchen, again specializing in authentic Italian food. In 2015, he got an opportunity to visit UK to learn authentic English cuisine which then led him to join British Brewing Company, Palladium.
Qualities Defining Chef Russell
According to Chef Russell, patience is the key to success in any field and extremely important in the hospitality industry. Running a kitchen isn’t easy especially when one has chaos around as multiple people are working on multiple activities pertaining to their own role in the kitchen. Ensuring the customer gets the food on time, while making sure it’s up to their quality standards, and the presentation has to be up to the mark, requires a lot of patience, which Chef Russell feels is the key to his success here.
"A kitchen is like an orchestra! It needs one patient man, guiding the team towards creating something magical" - Chef Russell
Working Creatively Towards The Perfect Menu
Chef Russell feels that when a dish goes on the menu, there is a lot of work that has to be done on the back end, to ensure it makes it to the final cut. To make a dish perfect, factors that need to work in conjunction are textures, aromas, flavors, presentation and the time consumed to deliver the dish on the table. While it’s not that difficult to think of ideas for a menu, the challenge lays in getting all the factors right in the dish.
Planning On Innovations at BBC, Palladium
Chef Russell and the team at BBC try and cater to their guests needs, as Indians love spicy food and they have managed to incorporate that in their menu. Wherever in the world we go, we find different people, with different palates and different needs. Chef Russell listens to his guests, and caters to their needs, as he feels they visit them for an experience and should not go home disappointed. Since their menu already incorporates major crowd favorites, he is always on the lookout for new food that could elevate their experience. For instance, their guests were looking for breakfast options so they went ahead and included English breakfast options which are very popular such as Eggs Florentine and the BB Co Full breakfast with sausages and the works!
Challenges Faced And What Keeps Them Going
The kitchen always has certain challenges but overcoming them to set processes right is highly imperative. Chef Russell too talks about the challenges that he faces on a daily basis right from delay of ingredients from suppliers to customers not liking a dish for a particular reason. He says, “We are constantly facing challenges from new restaurants entering the business, which is where innovation plays a big role in ensuring our customers keep coming back for more. Our mantra is to keep working hard, as we believe luck favours the brave!”
Chef Russell’s Message To Other Aspiring Chefs
Patience and hard work is the key to success. You will have ups and downs, which is a part and parcel of any life, but keep going, you will find the light at the end of the tunnel. Just don’t give up.
Signature Favorites By Chef Russell
The Nasty Burger is Chef Russell’s personal favorite which is a jumbo double patty (beef/ chicken/ lamb) topped with fried egg, bacon, cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. The other all time favorite is the BBC Full English breakfast that is their version of the traditional English breakfast which includes bakes beans, hash browns, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, pork sausages, bacon and any eggs to order accompanied with toasted bread and butter. So, on your next visit to British Brewing Company, Palladium do try out these signature dishes.
Career Driving Experiences
Chef Russell talks about his best experience which has been in working with Pan India Food Solutions, as he got the opportunity to learn under Chef Sanjay Malkani, one of his favourite chefs that he has looked up to from the start of his career. He learnt the art of plating, presentation and delivering it with perfection from him and that he has managed to carry forward to his role here at BBC today.
Chef Russell’s Thoughts On yourchefstory.com
It’s great that people are realising that chefs have a huge role to play in a restaurant’s success and we’re getting a platform to showcase our talent. Usually, bloggers blog about what they eat or drink, or experience, but never the man behind them all. It’s a breath of fresh air, to see a website that’s acknowledging the hard work that chefs do.