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CHEF'S CORNER

Chef Ranjit Debnath

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 14:59 Hrs  [IST]

Chef Ranjit Debnath brought fame and name to himself and to Team India by becoming the first Indian Chef to win a prize at the most challenging culinary competition turf, Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific held in Guangzhou, China recently. He brought home the ‘Special Platter’ prize competing against top teams from the region. Chef Debnath won the right to represent India by winning the national selection held in September 2017 organised by the IFCA. Chef Debnath is a Junior Sous Chef with Caperberry, the critically acclaimed flagship modernist European cuisine restaurant of Avant Garde Hospitality in UB city, Bangalore.

Q What is your feeling on becoming the first Chef to win a position at Bocuse d’Or?
It was a very proud moment for me and my team. To be rewarded for working hard is a great motivating factor! This was the first time that Team India came back with an award from such a renowned international culinary competition! Hopefully, my journey will inspire other young chefs to compete at this level and keep pushing the bill as far as Indian cuisine is concerned.

Q Can you share the preparation that went into it?
Chef Abhijit Saha, our coach and mentor, conceptualised and created the two exquisite dishes based on the themes given to us, that would be worthy of the competition. It took us months to ideate, conceive and create the dishes that we believed would be a sensory delight of the highest quality, in the Caperberry kitchen. My team and I were up early in the morning, practicing, working in our restaurant the whole day and then practicing again at night.

The Teams that we were competing against were the best from their respective countries and continents. It was an absolute delight to compete with them.



Q What was the awardwinning platter that put you in the reckoning for the ‘Special Platter’ award?
Team India took inspiration from its national bird, the Peacock. We tried to emulate the beauty and grace of this magnificent bird to create the concept of our dish. The platter, in sterling silver designed by renowned jewellers of Bangalore, C. Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers was a rendition of the peacock and a work of art and craftsmanship of the highest order. Each element of the dish, was a culmination of cooking techniques from the West and flavours of southern India. The subtle usage of multiple spices including cardamom, clove, cinnamon, saffron, and ginger brought a distinctly Indian element into the various components of the dish. The vivid colours and dynamic flavours created by the amalgamation of multiple ingredients from the sea and the land, did justice to our peacock inspired theme.



Q What was the support system and mentoring that you received in your preparation for the competition?
My entire team was my support system. From Chef Saha providing us the vision and ideation for the whole competition and leading us to this prestigious event, to my team at Caperberry helping me practice and perfect my dishes.

 
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