Childhood hobby helped chef Eliyaz find his calling

The idea of becoming a chef came to me when I was a kid. I was very passionate about cooking and my mother was an inspiration. After I completed my high school, I applied for hotel management and I got through. I am a graduate from Institute of Hotel Management, Meerut. It was during my internship that I was absolutely clear about my career choice. Culinary is my forte. That’s where my journey started. It has been 10 years since then and there is no looking back. I absolutely love what I do.

I come from a defence background but my family was supportive of my decision to get into the hospitality industry. Though they initially wanted me to get into the same profession as my dad but I had different plans. I wanted to turn my hobby into my profession.

I started off as an industrial trainee for three months at Fatehgarh Palace in Udaipur which was followed by an eight months tenure in kitchen training at The Bristol in Gurgaon. This was where I was introduced to the world of gastronomy.

I specialise in Italian cuisine and my personal favourite trying out different kinds of breads. Being in the kitchen most part of the day, the best thing is to go back to home-cooked food. I like to keep my food simple -- dal-chawal to be precise. ‘Chole-bhature’ is another favourite dish of mine. I was 11-years-old when I began to prepare my own breakfast every Sunday. Being born in a defence family, the atmosphere of our house spoke of discipline.

My mother used to keep the prepared idli and dosa batter ready and we were supposed to go and fix our breakfast. That was the routine that my siblings and I followed. This also, helped me train myself in multitasking.

The best thing about being a chef is that I have a routine and I can’t go off it. It is a creative job and helps me to use my imagination in a creative way. I have the freedom to plate what I imagine.

In my free time, I love surfing the internet and keeping myself updated on various food trends. I read books on culinary to keep my basics always brushed up. I also play basketball and drums. The recipe I am sharing today is for ‘Norwegian Salmon’. The salmon is cooked in orange juice making the combination fresh and the dish light in the stomach. I pan seared the fish and then glaze it with fresh orange juice. The dish is finally paired with cauliflower and parmesan mashed potato.  

Recipe

Ingredients

- Fresh salmon – 160gms

- Orange juice – 60 ml

- Mashed potato – 40 gm

- Eggs for crumbing

- Breadcrumbs - 40gms

- Cauliflower – 90gms

- Milk – 120ml

- Olive oil – 30ml

- Seasoning – to taste

Method

For a Crispy Meal

- Heat up the potato mash, fold the seasoning and pipe as a long baton and freeze.

- Crumb afterward when frozen and keep aside.

- Use a good pan to sear the fish and remove the excess fat. Add orange juice and keep glazing and cooking.

- Cook the chopped cauliflower in milk and seasoning later blend into a smooth sauce.

- When all the other elements are ready, fry the potato baton and assemble as per creativity.

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Childhood hobby helped chef Eliyaz find his calling

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