HospiBuz: How it feels to be the young chef of the year (2018) that too in the millennial era when the country’s maximum population is young.
Altamsh Patel:- Makes me feel proud and same time motivates me to keep working hard and be the example for my juniors of the culinary world.
HospiBuz: After having such a vast experience in Airline catering, what motivated you to take a shift to the Hotel?
Altamsh Patel:-I almost spent 8years in-flight catering industry and being a management trainee I got to learn everything from basics about the flight catering operations, I was lucky enough that I had worked in one of the biggest kitchens of Asia, But as a chef, I also wanted to gain experience of interacting with guest & creating experiences which was a little difficult in-flight catering as we don’t use to deal with the direct consumer. But trust me working with flight Catering is really a wonderful experience.
HospiBuz: What are the major differences in planning the flight menus and planning the menus of hotels?
Altamsh Patel:-Food is suppose to be cooked with love no matter what and where you cook. Chef life in both the kitchen remains same, no doubt scope for food presentation is maximum in hotels and in-flight catering certain limitations are there, regarding presentation as the food is served finally by the crew. Also, we cook food in-flight kitchen for the passengers’ whose main intention is to travel not to have food whereas in hotel guest especially comes to your restaurant for some extraordinary food & Service experiences.
HospiBuz: You are a core committee member of many culinary and chefs associations. How these associations exactly help or uplift the young chefs of the industry?
Altamsh Patel:-I believe wherever you are and whatever you do we should always do something for our fraternity to which we belong. Being associated with all the chefs association helps me to share my knowledge and also to learn from the young chefs. It also helps me to keep myself updated about the culinary industry and latest trends of market.
HospiBuz: What makes the menu of the Park, Mumbai, unique in itself?
Altamsh Patel:- Our menu is not a regular menu we are doing modern Pan-Asian cuisine & anglo Indian where we had done a lot of fusions and also we try to source organic ingredients which are in demand at present. For us, taste and presentation both are equally important.
HospiBuz: Being an executive chef, what are the main difference in selecting the menu for in house restaurants and the menu for room delivery services?
Altamsh Patel:-Normally In-Room Dining menu consists of best dishes of various cuisine and restaurant menu is particular cuisine based.
HospiBuz: After witnessing the various parameters of the present industry and the taste of the people, which cuisine has the highest scope in the present Indian market?
Altamsh Patel:-Japanese & Indian have the highest scope in the market and I hold them close to my heart and they have largely shaped my career philosophy, There has also been a recent spurt in interest in Peruvian and Nordic cuisines but so far this interest has been largely in the west. But given the fact that Indians in large numbers are now traveling all over the globe and embracing global cuisines, we expect this trend to touch Indian shores sooner than later. However, no cuisine, which embraces classical regional Indian and modern Indian fusion food.
HospiBuz: How the role of the chef is evolving with the changing food habits of the people.
Altamsh Patel:-The primary challenge that chefs face is of burnout as they pitch their passion and talent against the realities of business. Only a few make it and it takes a lot of support from team and business operator to translate this zeal into culinary and business excellence. I have seen the best of chefs burn out as they could not plan their culinary vision in accordance with the organization’s requirements. Chefs are now playing with flavors, textures, tastes, and presentations like never before. They are also a good salesman, they know the market trends and they are very competitive, which is healthy. It gives them food for thought to innovate. The challenges that I foresee for chefs are adaptability to changing trends and guest needs.
HospiBuz: As a guest which hotel property always remain on the top of your list and why?
Altamsh Patel:-Taj Dubai, I love staying there as it is located in the heart of Dubai, and Dubai is also one of my favorite holiday destinations.
HospiBuz: Suggest any one dish to our readers, who will be visiting the hotel the Park, Mumbai, after reading this interview.
Altamsh Patel:-All the dishes from our Meishi (Pan Asian restaurant) menu are signature dishes, we had done good 5-6 months of R & D for all the dishes in our menu Rock Shrimp Tempura 2 ways & Miso Butter glazed Tofu are my personal favorite.
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