“Social media has played an extremely pivotal role in the F&B industry.” – Chef Amit Puri

Squid pakora (2)
Squid Pakoda

Born and raised in Mumbai, Chef Amit Puri is a well-known F&B Consultant and a Cookbook Author. With a great passion for cooking, he has always put his heart and soul in the dishes he creates. Chef Amit has an eye for detail and believes that all the ingredients that go into creating a particular dish need to be respected.

Having an experience of 20 years in the F&B Industry, he has scene the industry grow and has developed his own versatile style of cooking using traditional recipes and adding his own unique twist to it.

I had an opportunity to have a chat with Chef Amit Puri about his career and his latest book “Redefining Comfort Food”.

Harissa Paneer Satay
Harissa Paneer Satay

Here is a snippet of our conversation:

Q1. I have seen many people discover their passion for cooking and becoming a chef at a very young age. When was it that you decided to take up this profession and why did you choose this?

Ans. As a child I was inspired watching my father cook in the kitchen on occasions with my mother. It was on days like these my sister and I would often join them in the kitchen offering our help. In those days my dad and I used to without fail watch the popular ‘Yan Can Cook’ on the television and try to replicate the dishes in our home kitchen. I am pretty sure the love for cooking started then. Many years later when I had the choice of joining an Engineering college or Hotel Management, I was sure of the path I was going to choose. 

Cream cheese canapes
Cream Cheese Canapes

Q2. You’ve been in the industry since 20 years now. In what ways would you say the industry has evolved?

Ans. In the last 20 years I’ve seen various industry trends shift. As freshers out of the college, students were keen on joining only 5 star hotels or the cruise. The next 8 years saw a change in the Retail and Restaurant segment where hospitality services were at par with star category hotels. Followed by Molecular Gastronomy taking the front seat for many years to follow. In the last couple of years, the trend has shifted to Cloud kitchens, Home chefs and cooking, Farm to table and  emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. Social media has played an extremely pivotal role in the f and b industry, and will continue to do so.

Q3. Cooking is an art as well as science. What part of cooking fascinates you the most?

Ans. Cooking for me has always been science. Even if it was as basic as boiling a certain vegetable to get the right texture and doneness, there is a certain element of science involved. Once this basic science of cooking is understood and mastered, the art follows. In today’s age and time, while science and art go hand in hand, the foundation and essence of any good preparation on the table, would be the science behind the way it has been cooked.

Killer bacon, beer and cheddar soup (2)
Killer Bacon, Beer and Cheddar Soup

Q4. Through your book “Redefining Comfort Food” what kind of recipes and style of cooking are you trying to convey to the people?

Ans. Over the last few years, because of the profession I am in, I have had the opportunity to travel to a lot of places, I wouldn’t have otherwise travelled to. Visiting new places, for me, as a chef is always exciting. Through the cookbook, I have showcased local and international preparations that would suit the flavour profile of the Indian readers. While the recipes are modernized to a certain extent, they could be easily replicated at home. 

Q5. What is that one moment over these years, that made you extremely proud of what you do?

Ans. I believe in anyone’s career, one goes through multiple phases, and each of those phases would have certain moments he / she would be proud of. My culinary journey, over the last 20 years has brought me to a stage where I was eventually able to write a cook book, something which I always wanted to do since my college days. While I have crossed many mini-milestones through my phases, I would undoubtedly consider writing the cookbook as something that I would be proud of today. While I have achieved this milestone, I would now like to move ahead and dream bigger, and some day have a venture of my own.

You can purchase a copy of Chef Amit’s book here

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