Chef of the Week

Chef Gaurav Mathur

 Gaurav Kumar Mathur

 Executive Chef, Welcomhotel Dwarka

 

 “I am happy to follow my childhood dream with utmost sincerity and thoroughly enjoying it”

 A highly accomplished chef with strengths in diverse Indian Cuisines, Chef Gaurav Mathur, Executive Chef Welcomhotel Dwarka, has excelled in executive, mentoring and training roles at ITC Hotels, Select Group of Hotels, Radisson Hotels in India as well as at Asha’s at Dubai, UAE.

 

Chef Gaurav has held several responsible positions like Custodian for Indian food at ITC Hotel, The Sonar, Kolkata; Head of the largest banqueting and conventions Space and Resources of ITC Hotels, at ITC Hotel, The Grand Chola, Chennai; Leader of the team of ITC chefs for two consecutive years at Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum and more. He is a Six Sigma Green Belt certified chef. He also holds expertise in Good Hygiene Practices, Food Safety and  HACCP.

 

 

 Here  he talks about his work philosophy and more ….

 

How do you define yourself?

 

A responsible chef with positive outlook towards every situation in life. I believe in carrying my duties to the best of my abilities.

 

What is your philosophy of cooking?

 My philosophy is To work on protocols-led cuisines prepared with quality ingredients.

 

What is your area of expertise?

My strengths are in the management of cuisines.  Apart from that customer-centric responsibilities, efficiently managing and motivating my team, pushing them to be creative, skilled, and updated with laid down protocols.

 

Had you not been doing this, then what?

I am following my childhood dream. My family has been very creative in the kitchen and my father has been a hotelier all his life hence I had an inclination towards food and was fascinated by the profession since a very young age.

 

 

What is your source of inspiration?

I am highly motivated by the creative & experimental food connoisseurs from the industry.  All through my journey all my seniors and executive chefs have played a very important role in pushing me to work beyond my abilities.

 

What has been the most rewarding moment in your career?

The most rewarding moments of my career were my leadership in Davos, Switzerland, in 2011 and 2012 and  handling large-high-quality banquets at the ITC Grand Chola at Chennai.

 

 How has the journey been so far?

 So far, the career journey has been full of achievements, contentment and a high degree of appreciation from guests.

 

What skills are necessary to be a good chef?

The skills necessary to be a good chef relate to the guest and management of food production, such as

  1.         Guest-centric interactive skills.  Also, to ensure that they receive the total value of their money and more.
  2.         To guide fellow professionals in an empathy-led manner and keep them on a path of positive action.

        iii.        Hands-on culinary skills.

  1.         Ensuring that the requisites of the economics of food production and generic cost management.
  2.         Professional kitchen management.
  3.         Skills of culinary research and the development of new products.

 

How do you de-stress yourself?

 My day starts with a long jog in the open, it helps me to analyze the situation from a positive perspective. Cooking gives me tranquility and joy of seeing guests eating happily. 

 

 How do you rate yourself as a chef?

 I rate myself as a good Chef who meets the demands placed on me by the management, guests, personnel and the generic market.

 

Favourite cuisine?

 I am an Indian Chef.  I am proud of the diversity of regional Indian cuisines and I believe that our cuisine has been acknowledged and loved globally.  Indian cuisine has a tradition and story associated which makes it culturally rich and diverse.

 

 Favourite spice?

All Indian spices are my favourite.  I use several spices and spice blends for specific requirements. 

 

 What is your favourite restaurant?

 My favourite restaurants are Bukhara and Dum Pukht – because they have maintained their high standards and consistency in terms of food and service over more than four decades.

 

 Your favourite diner?

 I believe in welcoming all the guests with the same warmth and excitement. In my view, it is very crucial to create a bond with the guests and understand the preferences

 

 Your Hot selling item?

 Biryani from our Kebabs and Kurries outlet. 

Artisan pasta served at the Pavilion.

 

The Best Compliment You Have Received?

 

The best compliments that I have received were from top management of ITC Hotels for the quality of food and arrangements thereof at “Indian Adda” – the ITC Hotels camp at Davos, Switzerland – years 2011 and 2012.

 

 Your philosophy of work?

 My philosophy of work is tireless and endless striving.

 

 Lessons learnt in the kitchen?

Food production and its trends have evolved over the years.  To continue to be successful, chefs must keep themselves updated with the changing market trends. I keep reading about the food trends to evolve and learn something new every day.

 

Last meal on earth: What would you choose?

My last meal on earth would be simple meal cooked at home, something like dal, roti with bhindi.

 

10 years from now?

 By nature, I am a “giver”.  I plan to evolve into professional academics along with being a professional chef.  To be an effective “giver”, I need to educate and train myself continuously.

 

 What are your future plans?

I will remain a Chef for my entire life.  On that journey, I intend to keep learning and going forward.

For me future is uncertain, I choose to conquer the present, however I love what I do and want to excel further in the same field.

 

 What is the best career advice you have received?

 The best career advice that I have received is to keep learning and keep skilling myself. 

 

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