"Be innovative no matter how crazy it sounds or looks" - Virendra Singh, Chef De Cuisine - Indian, Radisson Blu Marina Hotel

I express my gratitude towards God that he has given me this wonderful art of expressing myself through my food.

Virendra Singh

Chef De Cuisine- Indian

Radisson Blu Marina Hotel

How did it all start? Share your culinary journey with us?

Like everyone else my first ‘Guru’ is my Mother, as a kid I use to ask her, how you make a simple dish so delicious and flavoursome; she use to say with smile that ‘art of knowing your ingredients well and a secret ingredient which is of utmost important that is ‘love & affection”’ make your dish taste as you desire. I grew up listening to the stories from elder brothers in the village who are working far from the home land in hotels in Mumbai & Delhi. They use to comeback with lot of gifts along with interesting stories. Gradually those stories generated interest, interest converted into hobby and hobby is now my passion; this passion drove me so far and I was able to work among India’s best Kitchens such JW Marriott Mumbai, JW Marriott Aerocity New Delhi, Leela Palace Chanakyapuri, Westin Gurgaon and Lemon Tree Premier Aerocity and I am fortunate enough to learn from one of the best chefs in these hotels.

What are your earliest memories of the kitchens you worked in

I still remember my first day in the kitchen of JW Marriott Mumbai. I was thunderstruck, my throat turned dry and foot frozen; while I was watching every one else monopolised on their work like an external force taken over them. Suddenly my senior chef patted on my shoulder and gently said ‘go chase your dreams’ after those words I did not remember how that day passed. This is one of first & sweetest memory of my life in the kitchen. I express my gratitude towards God that he has given me this wonderful art of expressing myself through my food.

A dish your patrons/guest love?

There are number of dishes patronised by guests but since here I have to mentioned about one, that one dish is Meen Gassi with Malabari Paratha.

A dish that you love but do not have on your menu?

Meen Gassi with Malabari Paratha.

What according to you does it take to become a successful chef?

The desire of delivering with precision will only and only come if you are passionate enough.

What advice would you give to a young culinary student?

Be innovative no matter how crazy it sounds or look, but never let that creative artist die inside you. Because this is the age when you craft yourself.

What books should every chef read?

As they say ‘The Book is Man’s Best Friend’ one should read any book which enhance your imagination or creativity. It can be any book related or not related to your subject. As I mentioned earlier creativity keeps a chef alive and kicking.

What instruments/ equipment/devices you cannot imagine working without?

Adaptability is one amongst the key traits of chef’s life, but if I have to give a name then it would say my kitchen knife.

Your favorite ingredient is?

Whole Spices

Name chefs you find amazing or chefs work you admire?

Chef Imitiaz Quereshi