Innovations in the culinary world have always caught the interest of both foodies and culinary enthusiasts. Chef Gaurav Chawla is one such enthusiast who aims at introducing new innovations to his preparations and offering true foodies a perfect dining experience.
Graduated from IP University, Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, he holds 9 years of expertise in the culinary field. He is passionate, detail oriented & possesses strong analytical ability with a keenness to learn & improve himself as a chef.
Having worked as the Head Chef, NSO Pan India for Farzi Café, Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd, he focused on delivering an ace product with fresh ingredients at source. His role there included menu planning, standardization of new recipes, menu engineering, monitoring adherence to Good Hygiene practices & HACCP Standards in regards with upcoming market trends & guest preferences.
Get to know Chef Gaurav Chawla as we delve a little deeper into his culinary journey here.
What has inspired you to become a Chef?
My education in the culinary field was by chance & not by choice. I was a Medical student at the Intermediate school level and could not appear for Medical entrance exams due to some health issues. I then applied for the Hotel Management exam and managed to crack that. Learning about food & getting the basics right with the science applied, inspired me a lot and made me believe that food can satisfy any soul. Gradually, experimenting with different ingredients & cooking techniques convinced me to take this path ahead for my future prospects.
Having worked under the guidance of Mr.Jiggs Kalra & Mr. Zorawar Kalra , how has the experience changed your life & helped you in your career ?
Mentoring under the guidance of the country’s top notch Restauranteur & Business tycoon, Mr.Zorawar Kalra & The Czar of Indian cuisine: Mr.Jiggs Kalra, has been a great learning experience & a life changing era for me. They have trusted me at every phase and believed in my caliber by giving me the opportunity to think out of the box & come up with exceptional & never thought of products on the plate.
Any interesting facts that you would want others/fellow Chefs to know about your experience in this journey that could inspire them?
Always listen to your Senior Chefs positively & do what they say if you want to succeed. They are holding the position because they deserve it. Never argue to what they say & believe.
What challenges have you faced to reach this position in your life?
A couple of situations came in my way that were holding me back. It kept telling me, this isn’t for me but I knew my worth & achieved what I wanted with my patience & learning. I have worked with one of the most rude & stubborn Chefs who felt I couldn’t do anything. I worked with him for 9 days at a stretch at the hotel but that contributed to the most successful event. I spent many days doing out door kitchen catering along with my working shift hours and managed my daily expenses too.
Can you tell us something about modern plating techniques & how has this trend helped in the culinary world?
In today’s world, diners enjoy their meals as much with their eyes as they do with their mouths. Modern plating plays an important role as these diners judge a restaurant by the images of the dishes it presents on a variety of social media platforms. Dishes must captivate an audience for restaurants to remain competitive. The importance of plating is thus incredibly essential for Chefs & restaurant owners to consider when designing dishes to feature. There are number of elements that go in making a dish complete & to crave for, like texture, color & size.
What are your specializations?
My base is Indian cuisine with contemporary plating. I do specialize in the aspects of molecular gastronomy that transforms the shape & texture of any dish with the application of food grade edible chemicals.
What’s your favourite cuisine?
Indian cuisine is undoubtedly my favourite cuisine as it has so many different flavours of each state. The Indian culinary heritage is extremely rich in spices, herbs & ingredients which bring a number of dishes altogether.
What’s your Signature Dish?
Goat cheese walnut tikki, basil chutney spheres and Palak Paneer Quesadillas , Yogurt & Mint Salsa could be 2 dishes one could try on their next visit to Farzi Cafe.
Any interesting facts about yourself?
I love to play 'Black Box' in which I challenge myself to come up with the dish with whatever ingredients I have at my source at any given time & relate it with a cuisine having the perfect balance of the flavours. I want to take this concept further to see how we can execute in the restaurants.
What trends according to you that could change the future of the culinary world?
I think whole grains for promoting good health is the new trend in the market. With the ongoing healthy eating habits, people have now understood the importance of being fit & started to consume more of whole grain products that contain fiber, vitamin E & healthy fats that keep blood sugar under control, with low Glycaemic Index. Also, in context to Indian cuisine, there are so many small regions, districts & villages where food is still unexplored. There are so many ingredients that people are not aware of and haven’t used yet. This could be the next big thing if we as a team go, explore and cherish what we have in our country. There is so much to try & innovate with those ingredients, make people aware and educate them.
Your thoughts on Your Chef Story.
Your Chef Story is an unparalleled concept that showcase the in-depth chef’s journey. It’s incredible to see that you are putting amazing efforts to present the real talent behind the exceptional dining experience. Kudos to you Karishma. Cheers!!