HospiBuz: Mr Arora, you have been working in the Hospitality Industry for so many years. Please tell us how much has the industry evolved in the past years?
I have been in the industry since 1989, the food industry has evolved in many ways like food flavours, plating style, usage of ingredients, in lots of cooking a new technology is been used like molecular gastronomy, rethermalization and Sous Vide. Kitchen equipment has evolved in many ways too, for example, Rational oven.
HospiBuz: Mr Arora, you have worked with Celebrity Cruises for more than a year. You used to handle 18 different kitchens there. Please tell us how challenging it was for you to handle 18 kitchens and produce 16000 meals a day?
Cooking for 16000 meals a day wasn’t very hard, in fact, it was very easy as the kitchen and staff are very professional and very well trained. The most important factors to work on a cruise ship was : To maintain food safety and hygiene to USPH standards (the United States Public Health Standards)To cook food for different dietary request Service of food during rough weather and seas To maintain the pace of service during the service hours as the kitchen could serve 4000 meals in 1.5 hrs.
Cooking for 16000 meals a day wasn’t very hard, in fact, it was very easy as the kitchen and staff are very professional and very well trained. The most important factors to work on a cruise ship was :
HospiBuz: Sir, you were the Executive Chef at Hilton Mumbai International Airport. Please tell us how different it is to work in a hotel and on a cruise?
The major difference is between five-star hotels and cruise ships. The volume of the quantity of food cooked, for eg, we could serve approximately 84000 eggs, 50000 pounds of salmon in a week I would say the quality of the food is similar in both. The number of staff is on the cruise are far more than as compared to the hotel. Cruise ships are the floating city on the waters. On the cruise ship, there is no open flame for cooking food all the equipment work on electric or any other source of heat.
The major difference is between five-star hotels and cruise ships.
HospiBuz: Trends of cuisines are changing and fusion is at peak nowadays. Do you think that the cuisines are losing their real essence because of fusion experiments?
No, I don’t think cuisines are losing their real essence because of fusion experiments. As long as the chefs keep the originality of the dish and enhance the flavour with some ingredients it’s perfectly agreeable. For example Chai Crème brûlée with dry ginger crust.
HospiBuz: You were the Head of Operation at Vertical Hotels and Resorts, where you used to manage the budget of the kitchen and designing of menus. Please tell us how important it is to make proper estimates of food costing and menu designing?
Yes, I was responsible for the day-to-day operation of Vertical Hotels and Resorts that included kitchen budget and menu designing both aspects are the critical points for the success of the Food costing and menu pricing is the important factor behind any company’s success, as sales are your restaurant’s sole source of revenue. Pricing for food directly impacts your ability to fund essential aspects of your business, including equipment, utilities, labour, ingredients, and profits.establishments.
HospiBuz: Mr Arora, you have had almost all kinds of experiences when it comes to handling food matters. Please tell us which is an easier thing to handle, a buffet or a fine dine restaurant?
Personally I enjoy working for both the operation be it a buffet or a fine dine food service. As they have their own challenges. For both the services we need to plan ahead of the time. During the fine dine service the food is served course after course whereas in buffets service all the food is served at the same time and guest serves themselves. The most concern in the buffet services is cooking a right quantity of the food as you cannot run out of food or cannot have too much excess for food wastage as this can affect the food cost and make difference to the revenue.
HospiBuz: Mr Arora, you are currently working with the Century Group as their Corporate Executive Chef. Please tell us about your experience and day to day life there?
Currently as a Corporate Executive Chef my day to day job endeavours looking after all the hospitality units of century group this keep my day exciting with plenty of challenges. I do the planning of the launch of different menus. I focus on making menus, which are from farm to table. Maintain the food cost and labour cost of the hospitality units. Make and implementing all standard operating procedures and policies. Negotiating with purveyors for purchasing of all kitchen operating equipment and food items
HospiBuz: What is your Success Mantra?
My mantra for success – Have a will to learn, work hard and respect everyone. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill
My mantra for success – Have a will to learn, work hard and respect everyone.
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
— Winston Churchill
In Conversation with Masterchef Shipra Khanna
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Chef cooking food without oil and water
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