'The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, my old man was a chef with the Oberoi Group' - Chef Franky Dsouza | Executive Sous Chef | Atlantis, The Palm
How did it all start? Share your culinary journey with us
It all started in the family, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. My old man was a chef with the Oberoi Group, so as a kid I grew up watching him dedicate his life to the profession and it had a very positive effect on my choice of career. Having completed my Culinary Degree at IHM, Mumbai, I managed to grab an entry level Commis position with Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.
A couple of years later I moved to Dubai to work with Madinat Jumeirah and grew up the ranks to become a Sous Chef. A yearning to see a different culinary scene led me to take up a position as Sous Chef with Mint Leaf restaurants in London, UK.
A solid career opportunity in Maldives gave me the chance to take up a role of Chef de Cuisine with Jumeirah Maldives pre-opening team and a couple of years later the yearning to see another culinary scene ignited again and took me to Mandarin Oriental, Singapore as a Chef De Cuisine. Once again Dubai came calling and I took up the role of Chef De Cuisine with the iconic Atlantis The Palm.
A few years of monumental hard work and mind-boggling work experience, I earned a position as Executive Sous Chef within the property and so far there has been no turning back.
What are your earliest memories of the kitchens you worked in
The most earliest memories would be starting as a new comer at Hyatt Mumbai and going through a very hard grind where I learned my basic cooking skills. Long working hours and a paltry stipend which was described as salary was the right kind of motivation I was looking for. It made me dream bigger and made me realize that if want to achieve something I shall have to go through this without complaining and things will change for good.
A dish that you love but do not have on your menu
Beijing Peking Duck
What according to you does it take to become a successful chef?
Long working hours, acceptance that there is no family life, eye for detail, learning to follow instructions, and surely an exemplary passion for cooking is most vital for being successful as a chef.
What advice would you give to a young culinary student?
If you cannot bear the heat stay out of the kitchen. Don’t waste your time and other people’s, if you not willing to get your hands dirty and sacrifice your family life.
Work hard and be patient, success shall be your companion one day.
What instruments/ equipment/devices you cannot imagine working without?
A high quality all-purpose chef’s knife and a good sharpening stone will take you pretty far in this game.
Your favourite ingredient is…
Name chefs you find amazing or chefs work you admire
Gordon Ramsay’s passion and dedication towards his profession is worth envying.
What books should every chef read?
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain is a must.