Exclusive Interview with Michelin Star Chéf Rohit Ghai; The very first Indian Chéf who won Michelin star in less than year time 2017-18

Michelin Star Chef, Former Executive chef @ Jamavar & Bombay Bustle London

Michelin Star Chef, Former Executive chef @ Jamavar & Bombay Bustle London

My favorite ingredients are Indian spices and salt
— Chef Rohit Ghai

How did it all start? Share your culinary journey with us
I was born into a Punjabi family, where I was constantly surrounded by food. At most meals, there would be up to eight of us sitting around a table and my mother would cook for all of us. She made each dish by hand and as the youngest in the family, I used to often sit by her side while she cooked. I remember the aroma so distinctly even today. She would teach me as she went along, sharing secret tips and recipes, passed down by my grandmother. I inherited a deep sensibility of our food culture from her. It also explains the strong emotional connection I have with Indian cooking techniques and dishes.

What are your earliest memories of the kitchens you worked in?
I still remember when I was working with Taj Hotels and Resorts India I got the opportunity to work with entire Indian cricket team spent good time and fun. It was such an honor to cook for cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.  He still keeps coming to London to try my food.

A dish your patrons/guest love
It’s hard to choose a signature dish as we put so much effort into creating each individual dish. One of my favorites is the Kid Goat Shami with Chur Chur Paratha because it’s inspired by my childhood memories. I used to eat shami kebab in Old Delhi when I was younger, and my mother used to make delicious chur chur paratha, so I have combined the two together to create
this dish. That’s the reason it’s special – it’s personal to me and my childhood.

A dish that you love but do not have on your menu
Makke ki Roti and Sarson ka saag, made by my mum.

Advice would you give to a young culinary student...
I believe the best meals come from cooking with heart and soul. Curiosity, creativity, and confidence are the ingredients of success in the kitchen, and when combined with a passion to cook, it’s a winning recipe. My advice to young Indian chefs would be to stick to traditional recipes and cooking methods but always add your own influence and mark on it.

What instruments/ equipment/devices you cannot imagine working without?
In my kitchen I always prefer mortar pestle, cooking range and Rational combi ovens.

Name some of the chefs you find amazing or chefs whose work you admire
Jitin Joshi & Raymond Blanc, they both have been a real inspiration to my cooking I and, I learnt a lot from them. I also admire chefs like Heston Blumenthal, Pierre Koffmann and The Roux brothers.

What books should every chef read?
I always considered Larousse and Theory of cookery which reminds me of my college days. These two books have good fundamental knowledge. I have good collection of cookery books which are not available in the market.

Chef Rohit is working on his first solo venture and aiming to open by aug 18. We at TheChefConnect wish him all the very best!