Chefs pamper our cravings and hunger pangs but what do they eat when they are hungry? Muchagainst our notion of chefs polishing off fancy dishes everyday, they love simple home made meals; they also share their secret on what keeps them fit. Prabalika M. Borah takes note
Chef Swami Nandan Singh, Executive Chef, Radisson Blu
Favourite restaurant : La Gavroche, London. I love almost everything on the menu.
Everyday food : I begin my day with four almonds which my wife soaks in milk. Breakfast is nothing in particular and I eat whatever is ready, like an omelette or a paratha or a waffle. I prefer soft-centred folded omelette. My lunch is not heavy and I mostly eat Indian — dal, rice and some sabji , chicken or fish on the side.
What I like to cook: Fish is my weakness. I love doing fish dishes in any style and the reason behind fish being my favourite is I sucked big time when I was interning. So much so that I had to do fish dish four times to get it right. After that day I make the perfect fish and I am absolutely very proud of my fish dishes.
Power food : A granola bar.
Chef Nitin Mathur, Executive Chef, Taj Krishna
Favourite restaurants : Any place where my children love to go.
Everyday food : I begin my day with a cup of tea and head to the gym for a 40-minute work out. After I return I have a healthy Indian breakfast. It could be paratha, idli, dosa, upma, poha or a bowl of fruits. Sometimes it’s also a bowl of cereal.
My breakfast is usually heavy because lunch is uncertain. Food tasting sessions leave me with no appetite for a heavy lunch. We however, do have a chefs table in the chefs’ office and we have designed a menu according to the chefs’ preferences.
This is also our food improvising and sample dish tasting sessions. My all-time favourite is a phulka or a paratha straight from the pan with whole masur dal or some simple sabji . I also love preparing bitter chocolate desserts.
What I like to cook : I enjoy cooking Indian and simple home made food.
Power food : Chutney cucumber sandwich in multigrain bread.
Chef Dina Nath, Hyderabad Marriott Hotel
Favourite restaurant : Chutneys for anytime south Indian filling. Love the way their chutneys come with the order.
Everyday food : A traditional homemade breakfast of idli sambar or dosa chutney.
At times upma as well. I love the way my mother makes soft and fluffy idlis with the traditional coconut chutney. Since I leave home very early in the morning for work, my mom makes sure that I have a healthy breakfast. My lunch is usually simple and I mostly love to eat annam-pappu with some vegetables. Am not a very big fan of greasy food. I love my non-vegetarian in the traditional spicy style. At work my lunch is simple, and sometimes it is spaghetti with or without meat balls.
What I look to cook : Sea food barbeque and experiment with newer desserts. I love to cook Italian as well, because it is all about the love you show for the food.
Power food : R agi jawa or a custom-made cereal-shake.
Chef Mandar, Executive Chef, The Park
Favourite restaurant : Rive cafe, London. I also love Mangalore Pearl in Bangalore and there isn’t any dish which I don’t order when I am dining there. It is a family favourite.
Everyday food : My day begins with four soaked almonds and cereal with milk. Whether at work or home, I eat idli and dosa . My wife prepares them very well.
After my cereal breakfast, I pack a combination of raw vegetables as salad to be had with my lunch. Lunch usually consists of missi roti , vegetable stew, dal , dahi and tender coconut.
What I love to cook : My speciality being Italian I love cooking Italian. When not cooking I love to experiment with my cooking, usually with sea food — fish. I get excited to cook when I lay my hands on fresh fish. A lot can be made with fresh fish in a number of cooking techniques. Another all-time favourite of mine is risotto with mushroom.
Power food : An apple or a pear with walnut and pecan nuts.
Chef Gaurav, Executive Chef, Novotel Hyderabad Airport
Favourite restaurants : For Indian, I love Angeethi and Tansen. For Bengali food I frequent the canteen at Ramakrishna math at lower Tank Bund and love the Chinese at Mainland China.
Everyday food : I am not very fussy about what I want to eat. If given a choice it would be aloo paratha or mooli paratha with dahi and achar and if I am in the mood for western food then it’s fried eggs or a sunny side up with bacon sausage and a croissants with a hot coffee. Lunch is a big bowl of healthy salad with bread.
What I love to cook : I love cooking pan roast meats (can be a steak as well) with some delicate wine or herb sauce with fresh butter tossed vegetables and a nice garlic mash with hot bread rolls. I love doing desserts and have been at it for a long time. My favourite desserts are Esterhazy, Sachertorte and opera.
Last October I travelled to Austria to see the original Sachertorte in Sacher hotel in Vienna. I love making ice creams and sorbets and my favourite is the curry leaf ice cream, bishops weed and white wine sorbet.
My power food: A nice chocolate dessert or an almond chocolate cake or a cup of baked yoghurt.