Meet Vipin Sachdev, the man behind Tuscana, Kryptos, Subway and more

We imagine Vipin Sachdev lounging about in his swanky new restaurant Tuscana on Chamiers, leisurely tucking into Parmesan-laden pizzas and creamy layers of tiramisu. But instead, he bites into a lettuce-dominated salad and paces up and down, checking if everything's right. He comes back with a couple of shiny nails that he found peeping from under the woodwork inside the restaurant. “If I take care of small things, the big things will look after themselves... I am ready to spend money but in return I want good service, in the same way I want my customers to get their money's worth,” says Vipin, adding “Which is why at our restaurants we ensure you are being looked after well at every stage.”

Interestingly enough, Vipin didn't start off as a restaurateur. “I am a printer by profession. But after a while I wanted to do something different so I stopped working and took a two-month break.”

Around the same time, his wife Somna took ill and he offered to help her by taking care of the Subway outlet that she owned. “That was the first Subway to open in Chennai. For three to four months I went to the outlet and enjoyed myself and ended up opening 10 Subway outlets in a span of two years. Then I wanted to have my own brand, so I started Fresco Italian Gelato,” he says. And that's how after 26 years of being in the printing business, Vipin became a restaurateur. One of the reasons for the swap says Vipin is that he enjoys taking care of guests.

“In my previous job, I used to be closeted in an AC cabin, but in Subway I get to meet people from various walks of life.”

Variety on a platter

In 2007, he started his own company Pink Papaya Foods. And, the city was introduced to Italian and Mediterranean flavours. First Tuscana was launched (in 2009) with a menu comprising Italian favourites such as pesto, and pepperoni pizza, garlic and focaccia bread and tiramisu. It became quite a hit. “Chef Willi, who is a brand in himself, was roped in and he added his expertise to the menu,” says Vipin. And even before people could get enough of Tuscana, Kryptos was started. “I read somewhere that the Greek live long because of their food habits. So I thought why not start a restaurant that specialises in Greek food. Chef Willi went to Cyprus to learn about Greek cuisine. At Tuscana on Chamiers we serve a combination of Greek and Italian food.”

The 48-year-old also talks about the just-launched outdoor catering services and the big kitchen that can prepare food for around 1,000 people.

Says the ever-busy Vipin, “I am now looking forward to the opening of Burgundy, followed by B-Bar and The Jade Wok. All the three will be located at Somerset Greenways in MRC Nagar.” Burgundy is an all-day multi-cuisine dining place. B-Bar, he claims will have one of the longest bar counters and Jade Wok will be a Chinese place.

Eight restaurants in a span of six years (excluding the branches of Subway and Fresco)! So, what's next? “ A boutique hotel. But before that I just want to relax for a few months,” he smiles.

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Priyadarshini PaitandyJune 28, 2012