“The smile of my guest is everything for me”- Chef Vaibhav Bhargav


HospiBuz:- Chef, please tell us, what inspired you to enter the culinary world?

Chef Vaibhav Bhargav:- In the year 2002 when I was pursuing my IHM, I got a good exposure in my training period where I was exposed to work in live kitchens and I got an exposure to interact with guest and understand their preference and then customise the food accordingly and later that satisfaction of serving them and smile on the Guest face helped me to decide to enter the culinary world. The hospitality industry was booming that time in a big way and a lot of opportunities were open and TV was playing a major role to make it glamorous. That time the food was not evolved much and there was a lot of scope in it. So I decided to choose the culinary world. The smile of a happy customer makes me satisfied.

HospiBuz:- As a former chef at NOMA, please tell us about the farm to table concept there and how much it was healthy and appreciated by people?

Chef Vaibhav Bhargav:- It’s been a couple of years in the hospitality industry and I was looking for a break to work internationally, I wrote to many restaurants as I wanted to do an internship there to understand the philosophy of great chefs and restaurants which are doing great in the culinary world.
NOMA was a turning point in my career as it has opened my eyes that food can be so fresh and how you can work with the ingredients which are specifically grown for the restaurants and you closely work with the farmers which is a concept based FARM TO FORK concept.

NOMA worked on the philosophy of farm to fork concept and that’s why Chef Rene used to go himself to the farms in the morning and bring the ingredients which are unique and healthy n delicious. The place was very well appreciated because of the freshness of the ingredients and then presented them in a unique way with the help of food technology like molecular gastronomy or sous-vide techniques or dehydrated ingredient etc. The restaurant was always full and there was an advance booking required to dine in the restaurant and that’s why it is one of the restaurants who maintained his position 3 times a NO.1 in the world. The same philosophy I follow in my restaurants to bring the best fresh ingredients and serve those to my customers.

HospiBuz:- Please tell us about one training at IHM, which has helped you a lot in your career?

Chef Vaibhav Bhargav:- In the college IHM, the curriculum is based on the basics of hospitality and his various other sectors. You are exposed to training so that you can choose your career as per your skills. The training which really helped me to grow myself personally was to speak in public because I used to participate in many public speaking contests or plays or other extracurricular activities which helped me to increase my confidence.

HospiBuz:- Chef, please tell us about your responsibilities at ITC Maurya?

Chef Vaibhav Bhargav:- At ITC MAURYA, I was working as an EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF and was responsible for handling the day to day operations as well as I was the head chef for an Asian restaurant called TIAN which was a modern Asian studio. So, I used to be responsible for all the inventories to be done, all SOPs needs to be followed, making new menus as per season or special menus for special days like Christmas or New year etc. responsible for handling guest complaints if any or take their requirements to make the menus for banqueting.

HospiBuz:- No matter where we are the essence of Indian food remains with us. Chef, please tell us one thing about India which was lacking in abroad?

Chef Vaibhav Bhargav:- Indian culture is very diverse and so the food which changes in every city. Indian food always had an impact on the global world and that’s why many chefs have opened good Indian restaurants abroad to showcase the Indian food heritage but the food habits of other countries are not the same and they are not used to such Indian spices and that’s why the actual taste of India was missing on international platform, the Indian food was always presented in a modified version as per the nationality. In the last few years Now, the chefs are showcasing original flavours which are bolder and more presented in a gastronomical experience. The Indian culture is very rich when it comes to welcome and serve to our guest and that warmth or personal touch I felt is always missing in abroad when you go for dining in the restaurants because for us guest is ATITHI DEVO BHAV (GUEST IS GOD).

HospiBuz:- Any technique which you learnt in foreign hospitality and you think should be applied in Indian Hospitality as well?

Chef Vaibhav Bhargav:- The one thing which I liked in the foreign hospitality is that chefs work with farmers and use the best quality ingredients for their diners and we should also encourage our farmers to grow exclusive ingredients which chefs can use for their diners, ingredients which are indigenous and fresh. use of natural ingredients as much as possible. The other thing which I quite like is the working hours and the same rule should be applied to our industry also.

HospiBuz:- What is the best part of being a chef?

Chef Vaibhav Bhargav:- I got into this because I love to feed people and the food. Its such a direct connection with what you do and the pleasure people get afterwards. Creating a memory in their life, hopefully, and create something they can think back on. My favourite part is probably pleasing the guest and making people happy. The hardest part is being disciplined and maintaining a good positive attitude while holding it all together and keeping yourself from imploding. Being a chef, you get a lot of chances to meet celebrities and guests whom you are catering and it gives immense pleasure to create new things every time with new ingredients.

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