Girish Nayak, Pastry Chef at Olive Beach, Bengaluru, found his love for baking at 17 when he was interning at ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton, Mumbai and followed his instincts to the Culinary Institute of America, New York to build his foundation. When he isn’t helming the pastry team at Olive Beach Bengaluru, he conducts baking classes for gastro enthusiasts in the city.

We catch up with the young chef on life and food.

Apart from cooking, what else do you do?

Motorbikes are a passion and I love going on long rides on my bike. I try and take off at least two or three times a year to a new and interesting destination.

Tell us about your absolute favourite dishes around the world.

Bouchons and cookies from Bouchon Bakery, New York City; The Appetiser Set at The Local, Bangkok, Thailand; Chicken Ghee Roast at Shetty Lunch Home in Karnataka; Grilled Macarel Sandwich with a side of Ayran under the Galata Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey. 

Dishes you cook best?

Eggs, brown rice porridge with fried mackerel, and sourdough grilled cheese toast.

Ingredients you love working with?

Grains and nuts.

What’s your favourite hideout for some downtime in Bangalore? Restaurants you frequent and what they do well?

Pecos Pub, Hotel imperial, The Fatty Bao, and Arbor Brewing Company.

Chef stories around the world that inspire you?

I was fortunate to meet and see the greatest Indian chef Imtiaz Quereshi cook, while I was training at ITC Grand Maratha. This was the first time I had ever worked in a professional kitchen and the happiness, love, and passion for food that I saw in him was incredibly inspiring.

All-time favourite cookbooks? Any new book you’ve bought?

My all-time favourite cookbook is Modern Cafe by Chef Francisco Migoya. I keep buying baking books and have around 40 of them. My latest buy is Tartine Book Number 3 by Chad Robertson.