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‘Experience the local food as that signifies the culture of that place’

Falling in love with cooking food at a very young age, Celebrity Chef Rakhee Vaswani looks up to Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay as her role models. In an interview with Kathryn B K, she talks about bringing the world closer to India with her specialisation in world cuisine and as an owner of Palate Culinary Academy.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 15:09 Hrs  [IST]

As a child, Chef Rakhee Vaswani was always inquisitive about various cuisines and techniques, and her love for travel just gave an impetus to her passion. For her, travel resonates with food. “Whenever I travelled, whether in India or internationally, I made sure that I experience the local food of that area because that truly signifies the culture of a place,” says Chef Vaswani.

Bringing the world closer to India
I always wanted to broaden my palate and make people experience the true essence of different places. So, my love for food and travel made me specialise in world cuisine, she says. Today, people are well-travelled and that’s made many open to the idea of experimenting with world cuisine and their palate. This gives chefs an opportunity to play around with unique ingredients and techniques, in turn broadening their horizon.

Food exudes the essence of any place. As an avid traveller, food helped Chef Vaswani understand the nuances of the culture of that particular city/country. So, I make sure to try out the local cuisine where ever I am because it helps me broaden my horizon and imbibe the unique techniques and qualities of the cuisine and ingredients, says Chef.

Being a celebrity
Being a celebrity chef is not as easy as it looks though the fame and the glamour seems inviting, says Chef Vaswani. It entails hard-work, creativity and long working hours. While food presentation is paramount, the recipe is of utmost importance. It’s the crux of the cooking shows. There is an immense amount of research and trial that goes behind each recipe being demonstrated. The audience is watching for recipes. For me, there has to be a take away from any show and honestly, it’s always the recipe. Presentation is the key because people first eat with their eyes. Food has to be pleasing to the eyes to relish it. You have to look at it as a package, about how you show the recipe, how you present it because after all, it’s about the audience being able to recreate the recipes, says Chef.

An entrepreneur
Chef Vaswani’s dream has been to bridge the gap between the culinary industry of the east and the west, and she saw it coming true when Palate Culinary Academy became the first centre of CTH in India. “This was my priority because it is not feasible for everyone to travel, so the UK-certified culinary course gives budding chefs and food enthusiasts a chance to follow their culinary dreams,” says Chef Vaswani.

This has also become a wonderful platform for the chefs to impart their knowledge. With the international standards of teaching by the industry chefs, students become confident and that becomes a stepping stone to become successful entrepreneurs. Nothing makes me happier than that, adds Chef.

A chef who is a teacher, her accomplishments equals the success of her students.

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