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Chef Mohsin Qureshi

Chef De Cuisine, Renaissance Lucknow Hotel

Saturday, January 7, 2017, 16:38 Hrs  [IST]

A Chef with more than a decade of professional experience, Chef Mohsin Qureshi belongs to a family of Royal Khansamas from Lucknow for whom cooking comes naturally. During his professional career, Chef Qureshi worked with number of leading hospitality brands before joining Renaissance Lucknow Hotel as a Master Chef. Chef Qureshi also had the privilege of working on the menu for former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, and also a host of TV shows by the name Great Chef of India. He has excelled as an expert in Indian Cuisines by developing creative recipes as per global standards. He is currently responsible for planning and managing the entire food operations for Sepia, the Awadhi speciality restaurant at Renaissance Lucknow.

Lucknow is known for its Awadhi cuisine as well as home of culinary legends like Chef Imitiaz Qureshi. How do you relate yourself with them?
I belong to a family that has been associated with the royal kitchen since Queen Elizabeth’s times. Legendary Chef, Imtiaz Qureshi took his culinary lessons from my grandfather, Haji Ishak. So I look up to him and consider Chef Qureshi the last word in his field. Since, I belong to the family of royal khansamas; many of the traditional recipes were passed on to me by my illustrious grandfather.

How satisfying is the current role of leading the kitchen of a known international brand in your own backyard?
I love the role I play in managing the specialty restaurant, Sepia, at Renaissance Hotel, Lucknow. With the passage of time, traditional recipes are fast getting obsolete. My attempt is to retain and revive the traditional Lucknawi cuisine in the city of Nawabs.

Chef Qureshi's presentation

What kind of improvisation are you bringing to the Awadhi cuisine to appeal it to both international and local people?
At Sepia we try to give traditional cuisine a twist and tailor recipes to the tastes of our guests.

The frequent food festivals happening across the country, the food shows on TV, etc., have increased the knowledge and expectation of people about food. What pressure does that puts on Chefs?
We believe in giving our 100% to our kitchen and do not get distracted by pursuits of fame. We, at Sepia, also plan innovative food festivals from time to time. We experiment and improvise and come up with interesting new menus.

Chef Qureshi's presentation

With people turning to more organic and healthy food, what kind of challenge that Chefs face, especially the Awadhi food?
We have to reduce the quantity of oil used without compromising on the authenticity of the dishes; that’s a challenge. We have come up with salad innovations like Vinegar Onion and Papaya Relish.

Chef Qureshi's presentation

Who is your inspiration/idol in the profession?
My father – the grand master Chef Abdul Salam Qureshi.

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