"Be innovative and always have an urge to be unique" - Chef Rehman Mujeeb; Member of the Exec Committee at Birla Institute of Hotel Management and Studies
Chef Rehman Mujeeb
Member of the Exec Committee at
Birla Institute of Hotel Management and Studies
How did it all start? Share your culinary journey with us?
Passion for cooking and innovating new recipes came as my great grand father was associated with The Royal Kitchen of Awadh, deputed by the Nawab of Awadh for organising and redefining food and developing new delicacies. In older times where there was a quite stiff competition in the trio of Awadhi, Mughalai and Hyderabadi suppositions with regards to its food, culture and many other things It was ultimately vital to keep Awadhi Food distinct and to bring the super refinement of food and flavours which actually may lack in any other cuisines of India.
So Its inherited.
A dish your patrons/guest love?
Belonging to Lucknow, I adore a decent proficiency in the entire Indian Cuisine. But most of my guest love 'The Galawati Kebabs'
Galawati Kebabs can only be cooked with perfect variation of spices.
That is what can be considered as one of my signature dish.
A dish that you love but do not have on your menu?
Moong Gosht, That is a very irregular dish, I also love to incorporate on my menu, Normally our guests want to enjoy lamb exclusively, like Bhuna Gosht, Gosht Dopyaza, Nehari Gosht, Gosht Korma And Gosht Stu etc, They don’t want to mix with lintels, beans or vegetables.
Our Moong Gosht, takes lots of efforts and expensive material to make.It is done like selected pieces of castrated mature lamb, Multi Layered cream, sun dried dill leaves, roasted whole green moong and finally garnished with gold leaf. With a combination of plain saffron rice.
What according to you does it take to become a successful chef?
It entirely depends on your thought process, if at all you expect some horizons in life, you need to build a strict and strong visibility over your dreams.
What advice would you give to a young culinary student?
Be innovative and always have an urge to be unique, be satisfied, and try to be perfect with basics and make a motto to make others happy if you want to experience true happiness.
What instruments/ equipment/devices you cannot imagine working without?
After all it's about a royal patronage and cooking the cuisine of Nawabs, so there is not one but a number of equipments like (Copper utensils, like lagan, Mahi Tawa, Handi etc and of course to prefer cook on wood fire only, which is almost impossible to get in any hotel) that are essential for delivering the mascot royal taste.
Your favourite ingredient is…?
All those spices I use (the special potli masala) because any food can be brought to its soul only with exact blend of spices and so do I consider it as my favorite ingredient.
Name chefs you find amazing or chefs work you admire?
Chef Palvinder Singh Bali (Oberoi Group), Chef Raheel Ahmed (Marriott International), Chef Navid Akhtar (Orchid Hotels), Chef Sheetharam Prasad (GRT Group), Chef Vikas Oswal (IHG Group) Chef Bakshish Dean (Johnny Burgers), Chef Pallav Singhal (Marriott International), Chef Sandeep Pande (Marriott International), Chef Sandeep Kalra (Trident Hotels), Chef Mutu Kumar (Accor Group), Chef Adam Szczechura (Hyatt Hotels), & Chef Kunal Kumar (Accor Group).
What books should every chef read?
Indian cooking varies significantly from region to region. Narrowing it down to just few, though, is almost like asking me to pick a favorite child! But sticking to Awadhi Cuisine,
Dastarkhwan-E-Awadh and Classic Cooking of Avadh are couple of finest books that has brought down the authenticity of flavours, specifically Awadhi flavours to the beauty of words.