Chef YB Mathur
|Monday, April 10, 2017, 11:36 Hrs [IST]|
Chef YB Mathur is one of the
senior most chefs in India. He
was associated with ITC Ltd and
has more than four decades of
experience in food production. After
his retirement from ITC as Senior
Executive Chef, Chef Mathur has
been actively involved in training
and skilling activities in the industry.
He was also part of the National
Skilling Mission and World Skills
programme as a Cookery Skills
Expert. Chef Mathur has authored
couple of books to support culinary
education in the past. His latest title
– Culinary Economics - is a must
read for people in the academia,
students and industry professionals
and entrepreneurs for its insightful
content. Chef Mathur shares
the approach of the Book with
Q What made you write a book on Culinary
Chefs are responsible for food costs. Throughout
my career, I have had a tight-fisted approach
towards food and administrative costs.
Tireless striving to control costs have given me
opportunities to examine costs differently and
train my sous chefs and kitchen personnel on
effective food cost controls. Critical Control
Points for control of food costs extend beyond
day to day food production. My knowledge and
insights was the opportunity to be of service
to the hospitality industry, to give back, and to
enable the chefs to create the right ecosystem
towards economics of food production. I have
therefore undertaken an evangelist mission in
writing the book.
Q What is the concept of Culinary Economics
in food production?
It is important for any food and beverage
business to ensure that a customer has a great
and memorable dining experience. Purchase
prices of all raw ingredients increase regularly.
Increasing menu item selling prices in line with
increase in market prices reduces the value
proposition for the customer. Food products
and raw ingredients are highly perishable and
their inefficient handling results in spoilages,
wastages and higher costs. The concept as well
as actualisation of Culinary Economics would
ensure quality food production is supported
by cost-effectiveness of the business and its
Q How important is it for chefs and people
in food Production to understand Culinary
Historically chefs were exponents of practical
culinary arts. They were responsible for only
quality food production and its timely delivery
to customers. Contemporary chefs have taken
over the role of a business leader in addition.
Chefs are responsible for enhanced revenues,
food costs and profitability of the business.
Profitability in food business relates to
"contributions" to the bottom line. Economically
run food business should contribute upwards of
44% of net revenues to the bottom line, hence
the need for food production personnel to
understand culinary economics.
Q What is the kind of treatment that you have
given to the subject in your latest book?
The contents of the book are presented in a
simple to understand, easy-to-remember and
easy-to-actualise manner. The text is eminently
supported by case studies and examples from
my long and deep-rooted industry experience.
Clarity of the text has been enhanced by 40
exhibits. These exhibits include master exhibits
on the topics of materials management, controls
and cost-effectiveness as well as step-by-step
process flowcharts, aids-to-memory, ready-touse
templates, and formats.
No effort was considered too big and no
detail was considered too small while writing
this book. Culinary Economics would reflect
my tireless striving towards perfection.
Q Who are your target readers for the book?
The teachings of the book would prove invaluable
for hospitality professionals - students, trainers,
chefs, food & beverage managers, corporates,
venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, consultants,
operations and finance auditors, food & beverage
controllers and many more professionals in the
food & beverage business.
Q Why is it relevant to have such topics to be
part of the hospitality education curriculum?
Profits are the key-requisites of any business.
Hospitality / culinary management academics
must include teaching and training of cost
management of food oriented business. The
training would ensure the student's higher
acceptability during placement interviews and
quality career opportunities.