Keep it natural

Constantly planning to bring new innovative recipes to the table, Chef Foorquan Deshmukh, executive sous chef, Royal Palms India talks to Food and Hospitality World about his passion for cooking and how it is an everyday challenge to cater to the discerning customer

Constantly planning to bring new innovative recipes to the table, Chef Foorquan Deshmukh, executive sous chef, Royal Palms India talks to Food and Hospitality World about his passion for cooking and how it is an everyday challenge to cater to the discerning customer

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Chef Foorquan Deshmukh

Perfect’ is how Chef Foorquan Deshmukh, executive sous chef, Royal Palms India describes his journey as a chef so far. Like most chefs in the industry, he also has had his share of struggle and has worked hard to achieve his goals. Terming Indian cuisine as the most balanced cuisine in the world, and that also being his signature style of cooking, Chef Deshmukh credits his mother for being his inspiration to join the hospitality industry and become a chef. Reminiscing about the past, Chef Deshmukh says, “Since childhood, whenever my mother would be in the kitchen cooking, I would help her in cutting the vegetables. My first stint in cooking was when I was in the fourth standard and tried my hand at cooking an egg, and in the seventh standard I won a fruit and vegetable carving competition. That was the moment when I decided to become a chef.” While schooling, during his summer vacation, he joined a small restaurant called Naaz Hotel which gave him a clearer picture of the workings in the kitchen. Much later, his father pondered over his decision to become a chef and encouraged him to complete his hospitality management education by studying in Anjuman Islam Hotel Management College.

Enjoying each day of his job, Chef Deshmukh feels that fretting over challenges is all in the mind. He says, “It is all about how you deal with the challenges and overcome them by providing solutions. As a chef, I love the everyday challenge and finding innovative ideas and planning strategically, all these give me a high.” Being recognised as a chef gives him a sense of pride, as he mentions, “The role of a chef has graduated from just being in the kitchen to now interacting with the guests at the restaurant and understanding their taste preferences. The latest trend in the restaurant segment has been in the live cooking space.”

According to him, there has been a phenomenal growth in the hospitality industry, with the latest focus being on the use of ingredients and the source of their origin.

Emphasising on the popularity of vegan food, Chef Deshmukh informs that people have been aware of the term ‘vegan’ since 1944 which was introduced by Donald Watson when he co-founded the vegan society in England, which initially meant free dairy diet.

Vegan cuisine is different from other cuisines, including vegetarian food. Vegan food can be defined as basically strict vegetarian food wherein the vegan food follower refrains from not only consuming any animal products and meat but also their derived substances. For example, honey is not consumed as it is produced from honeybees and milk or milk products as they are from cows.

A vegan diet is more based on grains, legumes, fruit and nuts. Substitutes for dairy products are soyabeans and soya milk, tofu, almond milk, grain milk, oat milk, rice milk, coconut milk. Natural vitamins also need to be taken into consideration while on a vegan diet. Since this diet is low on calories and there is less of saturated fat products and ingredients, the level of Vitamin D, calcium, zinc, Vitamin B12 in the body is low.

When asked about his message to aspiring chefs that he would like to give, he replies, “It is important to be a good human being before becoming a chef. Work hard and feel proud to be a chef and keep learning from various sources – internet, books, etc. Rather than using a lot of chemical products, try to use natural ingredients.”

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