Bringing forth authentic elements, seasonal ingredients, and the aim to innovate yet retain the simplicity of a dish — is Chef Sanjeev Kapoor‘s mantra this year. We caught up with the celebrated Indian chef recently at Singapore Airlines’ World Gourmet Forum 2019. By Priyanka Chakrabarti
Did you always want to become a chef?
Not at all. I had no clue about this career. I grew up eating samosa, kulfi, dosa and gulaab jamun from Punjab Sweets where the owner was the chef. At home, my mom, and sometimes my dad used to cook. But I always wanted to do something different. Something that nobody in my family had done before.
How is your collaboration with Singapore Airlines shaping up?
It’s been over a decade that I have been working with them. Together, we have been able to achieve quite a lot and it still feels like the beginning, which means there is so much to do! Singapore Airlines is the best in the world.
What are the things you keep in mind while curating a menu for global flyers?
Typically, we understand guest behaviour, we ask them questions, collect information, decode their likes and dislikes, and then we use that knowledge to create food that is a delight for all palates. We try to strike a balance.
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I'm always grateful when receiving your warm messages saying that I'm an inspiration. When I started, the gastronomy scene was completely different in India and I cheered every lesson I've learned until this day. Learning is still my biggest motivation. . . . #sanjeevkapoor #mondaymotivation #inspiration
How are you incorporating local Indian regional flavours to suit global palate?
My role is to educate people about the ingredients that are popular in India. I first talk about it, create awareness and then introduce it in the dishes. Then I educate chefs in different parts of the world; the focus should be to maintain consistency.
Where did you have your last meal?
I dined at a restaurant called Candlenut in Singapore with all the ICP chefs.