Chef, please tell us how different it is to work in a hotel and managing a restaurant?
Vishal Atreya:- In a hotel, you manage larger teams and hence there is a bigger support mechanism. In a restaurant, the teams are much smaller and hence efficiency is higher.
The past decade has seen a gradual rise in the demand for craft beers and microbreweries. Chef, please tell us what future do you see microbreweries have in India?
Vishal Atreya:- The craft beer culture in India is still not as mature as in the US and Europe. Beer is a world as vast as the world of wines and there are connoisseurs who would settle for nothing less. The initial investment to set up a microbrewery is much higher than that of a restaurant, but the ROI is also faster. Social drinking is the priority and hence the food setup is very casual and rustic.
Tell us about the tagline of The Pump House. What the vision behind tastefully wasted?
Vishal Atreya:- Beer gets you wasted after a few glasses. But we wanted to make Pump House a food destination too. The focus is more on the quality of ingredients and the taste of the dishes served. After coming to Pump House, you just don’t get wasted, you get tastefully wasted.
Tell us about some specially crafted beers in The Pump House and how do you match them with a food menu?
Vishal Atreya:- Very recently we did an Apple Kolsch which has a hint and subtle sweetness of Green apples. We did a nice Sechuan spiced Pork with it as apple and pork are married to each other in the culinary world. So I look at the afternotes of a beer and then pair it with complementing food ingredients.
Chef, please tell us what kind of research have you conducted while crafting a menu for The Pump House?
Vishal Atreya:- The food at The Pump House can be defined simply as no-fuss pub grub. There is everything that you will love with a nice glass of beer, after work. I did a lot of eating out at various places in Bangalore to understand what people like to eat in this city. What is the palette notes that people prefer in general? After I had established the broad guidelines, I went on to dine and eat with the locals in their houses. The food has to be something that a commoner can relate to. For a neighbourhood pub, like ours, it can never be an overwhelming experience. So I decided to keep it simple and took a lot of inspiration from the local sources. I also realized that the availability of produce around Bengaluru changes every three months, and so I too tweak my menu 4 times a year.
Microbreweries are now venturing into bottled beers. What is your take on it?
Vishal Atreya:- Bottling is ”Moksha” for a microbrewery. We have a long way to go, but possibilities cannot be ruled out.
Congratulations for being featured in Top Chefs cook-off challenge with AXN and Marriott International. How was the feeling when you had participated at cook-off challenge and which was your favourite dish you presented?
Vishal Atreya:- It is always great to be considered for participation in a prestigious event like that. I absolutely loved my Coffee and coriander Crusted Salmon with orange mousseline.
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