What would you describe as being the proudest moment for you in your career so far? By far my proudest moment is most definitely working with Chef Raymond Blanc, a superb chef and a culinary legend in French cuisine.
It is well known that every Master Chef was once an apprentice. Who would you say has been your most influential mentor, and which celebrity chef on the international culinary scene do you hold in high esteem? My culinary role model and mentor is Chef Manadhar. He is very creative has a sharp eye for details. The person I most admire is Chef Gordon Ramsay, an astounding 13 times Michelin star winner.
Having been at the pinnacle of India’s dining scene at the world-class Chancery Hotels Bangalore, the Intercontinental Hotels Group and the Lalit Golf & Spa Resort created an eager following of loyal diners who were always keen to grace your tables. What would you like to say to them? I love you all… I know you will miss my delicious creations and my naughty humour, but for now it’s time to create a following here in Kenya.
In your view, what does it take to create that iconic, impeccable dish? A chef is an artist, or a sorcerer if you will, who dispenses their magic onto every plate. Being a chef is not a job, but a compelling passion, an innate drive to make every dish impeccable.
Chefs and culinary artists love to incorporate seasonal ingredients, what would you say are your favorite seasonal ingredients to use right now, and why? Right now I’m using a lot of arrow root, avocado, tree tomato and corn meal. I adore adding a little twist to our local foods offering my own rendition of dishes, and really enjoy it when guests ask me to prepare something special in the kitchens, we call these a ‘Chef DK’ delight…
The Concord Hotel aspires to offer truly exceptional culinary & beverage experiences like never seen before. Can you describe these amazing experiences, as well as the inspirations behind them? For me inspiration comes to me in the form of the cultures and the people around us. Being unique is a virtue, this is why we have already stirred up a buzz in the Kenyan market as the place to go for truly versatile, innovative and delicious dishes. Keep a look out for our new culinary creations like our brownie pizzas, chocolate samosas, masala chai soufflés, pan biryani’s and green pizzas.
As an Executive Chef, you have now reached a phase in your career where the next generation of budding culinary students look up to you, and aspire to achieve similar success. What is the best advice you can give to them so they may achieve the same? If you want to become a great chef you have to work with great chefs, that is exactly what I did, as well as, having a keen eye and attention to detail.
What is the one dish that you personally recommend every diner must try at The Concord Hotel, Nairobi? The lamb shanks is definitely a must try.
On a lighter a note, what would you say are three things in the kitchen that are essential in making the perfect meal? In the kitchen, one cannot do without a knife, a lighter and of course, the Chef!