Amit Handa, Ex Corp F&B For ITC Hotels shares his thoughts on Chefs
First thank you for doing this. Tell us a little bit about yourself. The journey so far.
Til recently I was the Corporate Manager F&B for ITC Hotels. A career in F&B included F&B Manager of the sprawling ITC Mughal, Preopening Manager at Shangri la New Delhi, Convention Manager at Marriott Mumbai, going all the way back to Restaurant Manager, Banquet Manager at the aristocratic Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi.
I was first batch pass out from IIHM Aurangabad and was absorbed as Management Trainee by Taj Group of Hotels.
You have probably worked with hundreds of chefs over your illustrious career. What do you think makes a great chef?
Passion and creativity.
These two elements have to come together in a unique way for every chef to come into his own. All great chefs have learned, the honed their skill, then taken it to an art form, a dedication. Its the same with all great artists.
What can chefs do to make it easier for the F&B professionals? or what can chefs do to work better with F&B
Communication, Communication, Communication. Include the F&B into the ideation processes, in the team. Create a culinary fervour in them too!
Share names of chefs you admire. and an incident/memory with them if any
Chefs are the new stars: they are expected to be front of the house, make videos, be insta-ready, press, etc. How much of this is a trend according to you and how much is here to stay? What does all this mean for a young chef, starting his culinary journey?
Digital Marketing is the call of the day and it is here to stay. You cannot get away from it, you have to embrace it. I know some chefs are now trying to limit photographs of their food, but I think if we look at the experience for the guest, then they want to share that instantly with the entire world.
In the future, you will have everyone live all the moment, what are the chefs going to do then?
share some key F&B trends according to you
Interactive cooking. It is only going to get bigger and bigger, and maybe more fun too!
How important should business knowledge / financial knowledge of a restaurant/ f&b operation for a chef ?
Very. I would think all chefs should be well versed with the profitability index. Financial acumen is as important as culinary skills.
Share with us your plans / aspirations for the future now that you are no longer with ITC.
To head corporate F&B or head a Unit