HospiBuz: What made you feel that being in the food industry (chef/ consultant) is a perfect career path for you? What are the few hurdles that you faced to get immense success in this sector?
Chef Ajay Chopra: To be very honest, I did not aspire being a Chef at the start of my career, however I was very sure of pursuing a career in hotels. While studying, I developed my passion for food and realized that food was the tune I would like to play. My first job was not the best paying ones, but I was dedicated to learn and perform, and the same thought has led me to where I am today.
HospiBuz: You have worked as an Executive Head Chef at Mint Leaf chain of restaurants, London as well, what difference do you find in the work culture and customers in London and India?
Chef Ajay Chopra: As the Executive Head Chef at two restaurants, the city of London and the customers designed a great learning experience for me. Customers in London are well travelled and know what is being served on their plate, whether it is a local or an international cuisine.
HospiBuz: Sir, we would like to know the difference in the working pattern in the hotels and with brand endorsement and vignettes? Which one do you enjoy more?
Chef Ajay Chopra: The platform that I am working on currently, is completely built on the bricks of learning experiences I encountered in hotels. However, being a public figure now helps me innovate and explore the new avenues of life, which traditionally were constrained while working in hotels.
HospiBuz: How was your experience of co-hosting Master chef, season 1 and 2? What special competencies should participants have to be the winner of Master Chef?
Chef Ajay Chopra: It was an amazing experience to host the Master Chef seasons and it opened my eyes towards the exceptional talent that India has. My advice to any participant has always been to understand food, be able to cook the food well, and have a cutting edge over the others.
HospiBuz: It is considered that Executive Chef is only the cook in the kitchen but “king of the kitchen”. What are the unknown roles does chefs plays beyond cooking in the kitchen?
Chef Ajay Chopra: Being the Executive Chef, managing food is only one of the tasks that Chefs perform. A Chef needs to act as Marketing Manager to the kitchen, an Accountant to the kitchen and most importantly, a Human Resource Manager. Hotels are known to be workplaces with a very diverse culture, and it is the Executive Chef who balances the culture and makes a team that can deliver great food, consistently.
HospiBuz: Has start up and entrepreneur culture has brought change or affected hospitality sector in any way?
Chef Ajay Chopra: Definitely. There is a plethora of options to work upon and create a business model. Recent trends in technology and with international brands coming into India, businesses have much more scope compared to the good old times.
HospiBuz: You are one of the most successful constants of restaurant developers, catering companies with their menu designs, concepts and culinary skills. In your opinion what make the key factor that makes restaurants and catering companies successful and unsuccessful?
Chef Ajay Chopra: Consistency in performance is the key to success. Lots of restaurants fail miserably, only because they are not consistent in their food or service.
HospiBuz: Sir, you have love travelling and music, would you please like to tell us how does it help you to make your life more successful and beautiful?
Chef Ajay Chopra: Travelling and music is a tool to disconnect and rejuvenate. There needs to be a work life balance and helps you explore.
HospiBuz: What do you love and unsatisfactory situation the most while training and mentoring? In your opinion is there anything you think that restaurants and café are missing these days?
Chef Ajay Chopra: Like I said earlier, consistency and perfection are the most important.
HospiBuz: Kindly, share your success mantra and message for all your admirers and fans.
Chef Ajay Chopra: Dream big, work hard and trust God!
Thank you for your precious time !!
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