'Cooking is no less an art form than painting or music. Learning never stops' - An Exclusive Interview with Chef Hermann Grossbichler, Executive Chef, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty

Chef Hermann Grossbichler (18).JPG
We want to work with high quality local and sustainable if possible organic ingredients. That is to say we prefer to work together with local producers and growers wherever possible.
— Chef Hermann Grossbichler on the culinary philosophy of Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty.

Chef Hermann Grossbichler

Executive Chef

Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty

How did it all start? Share your culinary journey with us
It started in my hometown in Austria very early in my life. Everything was prepared at our Farmhouse Kitchen. We did not go to restaurants unless there was something to celebrate. Fruits, vegetables where grown in our own farm, seasonally. The grocery store list was extremely small, only essentials where required. I still remember the aroma of home-grown herbs used for our Austrian country dishes.

Just after I finished school the tourism industry in Austria was starting to flourish and many small summer and winter resorts were established. My love for cooking coupled with the opportunities to become a chef made my choice easy.

What are your earliest memories of the kitchens you worked in?
I was a chef-apprentice in a mountain resort called “Windischgarsten” The resort was packed with tourists from all over Europe. I was blessed to learn early.

A dish your patrons/guests love
Our guests have their favourites in each of our restaurants.

Thai Soul - Pad Thai Noodles, Beef Penang Curry
The Colony Bar and Grill - Roasted Rack of New Zealand Lamb with herb and mustard crust, Coconut shell smoked duck with sweet potato and fig chutney
Malabar cafe - Chemeen Moilee (prawn curry), Koorka Manga Curry (local potatoes cooked with raw mango and coconut milk)

A dish that you love but do not have on your menu
Marillenknödel (boiled dumpling that are made with cottage cheese and filled with fresh apricots)

What according to you does it take to become a successful chef?
A good chef must love to cook to understand how flavour and textures come to together to make up for a great dish. He must be a people person, ready to work with others. And he must be prepared to learn from others his or her entire carrier. Cooking is no less an art form than painting or music. Learning never stops.

What advice would you give to a young culinary student?
A student must have a true calling for this profession, he or she must be prepared to work hard and for long hours and be able to deal with a little bit of stress at times. There are no free weekends or holidays.

What instruments/ equipment/devices you cannot imagine working without?
It’s still the good old chef’s knife!

Your favourite ingredient is…
I love cooking with mushrooms, all kinds of them.

Name chefs you find amazing or chefs work you admire
I learned from and was inspired by hundreds of chefs, not really TV Chefs, naming one would not do justice to all of them. Every chef has a different skill set - no chef can have it all. Culinary is far too complex for one person to know it all.
Although I did always liked the late Anthony Bourdain’s cooking and travel show because it showed how food and culture are interconnected.

What books should every chef read?
A chef should ready every cookbook he can get his hands on. I have library of cookbooks at home. About 400 books in all. In each stage of one’s culinary life different books may have particular relevance. Hard to choose one.