Winner of Veeba cook-off and a multi-medalist chef, Swayam Thorve in conversation with


He is Currently working with Grand Hyatt Mumbai, is featured in the book ‘Vintage Secrets: hidden & forgotten recipes from Western India’, and is certified wines and spirits expert from Wine & Spirits Education Trust. He has been a part of multiple restaurant startups at their planning and executive level.

HospiBuz: A Chef’s toolkit s the most important thing in his life. What is its importance when you say that it should be curated when needed?

Chef Swayam Thorve: A chef’s toolkit is the most important thing to him. Just as a doctor or mechanic would need his instruments, I believe a chef would need a set of his own depending on his specialization and cuisine, to enhance efficiency and comfort. As I always say, “Don’t buy it, build it: Toolkit.” because, a chef is always learning and growing and the toolkit needs to be improvised to suit the occasion. A toolkit should always offer flexibility depending on the type of operations and situational needs.

HospiBuz: You are currently working with Grand Hyatt Mumbai. Please tell us about your daily life there and your experience in that place?

Chef Swayam Thorve: Grand Hyatt, Mumbai has been a splendid platform for my learning and development, facilitating all the best possible research and analysis a chef could study. Providing numerous opportunities all along, giving me various types of cross-exposure. Every day is all about building a lot of innovative ideas, techniques, food practices and developing newer recipes.

HospiBuz: What made you enter the culinary world? Who is your inspiration?

Chef Swayam Thorve: Coming from a multi-cultural family and traveling across India since a very young age, food has always surprised me as the ingredients are more or less the same, yet the cooking styles and techniques are varied which creates a huge difference in flavors, colors, and textures. All these things came together to lead me to the world of culinary arts. My earliest inspiration has been ‘Paachi’ (my aunt) who introduced me to international cuisines, made me believe that the art of cooking is very simple and heartfelt. Many chefs have also been extremely inspiring, like chef Gordon Ramsay, Chef Vikas Khanna, Chef Marco Pierre White, and Chef Vernon Coelho, to list a few.

HospiBuz: You were the winner of Veeba Cook-Off. Please tell us about the dish you cooked that day?

Chef Swayam Thorve:

Dish 1 – Salad Unalome consisted of peels of different vegetables which are generally wasted, topped off with Veeba dressing and served with ‘tadka dahi’ (turmeric tempered yoghurt).

Dish 2 – Thai style fusion chicken stuffed with mustard leaves and cheese, served with summer fried-rice and orange chilly sauce. We were given a surprise box with around 7 to 8 ingredients to be used in a single dish. These dishes had to be completed within an hour with 4 portions to be served. This show was judged by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and a few other celebrities. It was telecasted on the TV channel Food Food.

HospiBuz: You are an Associate at Western Indian Culinary Association. Please tell us about this association and your work there?

Chef Swayam Thorve: WICA (Western Indian Culinary Association) is known to get the chef’s community closer by offering world-class opportunities, conducting various culinary competitions and seminars at a national level. This brings together many chefs from around the world, making the community more competent.


HospiBuz: What is the first thing which you do when you enter the kitchen?

Chef Swayam Thorve: I first wash and sanitize my hands before checking the mise en place (preparation of dishes and ingredients before the beginning of service).


HospiBuz: One word for food? 

Chef Swayam Thorve: Identity.



HospiBuz: Your favourite cuisine?

Chef Swayam Thorve: It is difficult to name one. Nationally it would be Goan and Malabari cuisines. Internationally, Italian.



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