Cooking up a storm

Cooking up a storm

Tea  has been my family's business for almost  110 years now; I am the fourth-generation tea planter. Our garden fresh teas  are extremely popular everywhere and so, it is no wonder that after completing my graduation in Computer science, I too  decided to be a part of this family legacy. And thus began my stint at 'Infinitea'.

I had learned all the tricks of management at college and so decided that we will just focus on the tea and outsource the food, since it was not a core area of interest for us. We tried everything - buying and selling food, hiring chefs, tweaking the menu and so on. Basically, I ran the place  like a true businessman for 12 years. Then I noticed that people were starting to get bored. So was I. I realised that I needed to focus on the food more.  Food and beverages have equal weightage in this business but some people skew the percentage according to what they can manage.  

Then about three years ago,  I got professionally trained  by Willy Wilson who has been in the hospitality industry for about 45 years as a hands-on chef and has cooked at many premium restaurants across the globe. He came as a consultant and taught me about cooking, where I was going wrong and what I could do to improve the food.  I was in training for about one year and then I brought out the first food menu, curated entirely by me.

This was around two years ago and I almost immediately noticed a  big change in the attitude of the people who came to the restaurant - in terms of their perception of the food and reactions.  Since then I have been personally handling the day-to-day affairs of my kitchen. Now I have become a hands-on, self taught chef and we are competing with the best out there.  

There are quite a few firsts to my name. I am the first person in my family to focus on the food industry. I am also the first non-vegetarian in my Marwari family; a necessity because of my profession. But I am not concerned about what people think. My job is to keep my customers happy.  

Today I am sharing the recipe of 'Chicken parmigiana', a classic Italian dish made of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  

Gaurav Saria
(Chef Patron, Tea Master at 'Infinitea')

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