Chef Bhagat Singh; Chef Patissier; MV Ventura; P&O Cruises

My favorite ingredient is Chocolate... I can’t imagine pastry without chocolate
— Chef Bhagat Singh

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

My family had dessert every night and no evening meals complete without any sort of sweets. I used to see my grandmother cooking different dishes and she always use to ask me how it tastes which developed a sense of taste in me and later I decided to study culinary as a hobby and hobby become a profession. I worked with different hotels like Radisson, Taj and Grand Hyatt with reputed chefs which help me to sharpen my skills. In 2000 I decided to take a culinary journey to high seas and join Cruise lines. Where it was a totally different experience to work with different
nationalities in a very different environment. I enjoy traveling to different part of the world, learn different cuisines and grow myself as Executive Pastry Chef as a part of world’s biggest cruise line.

What are your earliest memories of the kitchens you worked in?

I start my professional carrier with Radisson (New Delhi) in 1996 and I was the part of the opening team, that helped me see and learn how to create menus, kitchen structure, and menu presentations. In 1999 I joined Grand Hyatt (New Delhi) as a pre-opening team chef and my previous knowledge helped me for a successful opening.

A dish your patrons/guest love
Sticky toffee pudding with custard sauce

A dish that you love but do not have on your menu.
Cream Brulee with roasted pineapple with rum and caramel sauce

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

To be a successful chef you must have a good sense of smell and taste. You need to be creative and must know how to handle the stress. Don’t stop studying

What advice would you give to a young culinary student?

My advice to young culinary students is you must start with fundamentals; understand the core techniques that are used in daily cooking. You need to keep yourself motivated if you are to complete your study with the credential that you are hoping for.

Always remember a good chef knows that improvement begins with criticism so take it positively.

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

My Palette knife and my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Name chefs you find amazing or chefs work you admire

It is a very difficult question, I worked with many amazing chefs and everyone contributed to make me better and better but Andreas Roesing (Executive Pastry Chef), Chef Marco Pierre White, Chef James Martin, and Chef Stuart Pitcher, were amazing and push me harder and harder.

What books should every chef read?

White Heat by Chef Marco, The Pastry Chef companion, and The Baker by Chef Antonio Boucher are worth reading.