In talks with Chef Arzooman Irani
Q1: How long have you been cooking?
– For more than two decades
Q2: Where did you train to be a chef?
– Diploma in Hospitality from Australia, a degree in Professional Cooking from the Baltimore International Culinary College, USA and a Diploma in Management studies from the Swiss Hotel Association – Les Roches, Switzerland.
Q3: Why did you choose to become a chef?
– I was inspired by my grandmother
Q4: How would you describe your ‘Style of Cooking’?
– I love experimenting and giving novel interpretations to natural flavours – giving dishes a contemporary twist.
Q5: Which dish do you like cooking the most?
– I like cooking dishes that please my guests, family and whoever is consuming it.
Q6: What’s your favourite ingredient to cook? Why?
– I have a flavor for every season. Right now it is the black carrot and am looking at creating different dishes with that.
Q7: What’s your most interesting/fun time in the kitchen every day?
– When I’m experimenting and trying to create something new!
Q8: What’s the first thing you do when you enter your kitchen for the day?
– I make sure that I greet the staff in the kitchen and ensure the day starts with a good environ.
Q9: Which other chef do you admire?
– I admire all the chefs
Q10: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a chef?
– Be prepared for a lot of hard work
Chef’s Profile: ARZOOMAN IRANI, EXECUTIVE CHEF, VIVANTA by TAJ, Gurgaon, Delhli NCR, India.
Simply put, Executive Chef Arzooman Irani loves to cook and believes that magic happens in his kitchen. “Wild at heart, deep in soul”. These words aptly describe the food as well as the Chef behind them.
There is definitely an inventive streak to taste, to mix and match new ingredients and create food that people enjoy and take home the very essence of it.
He took an early interest in cooking as in his words “my grand-mother was my inspiration…as she cooked with love for her loved ones…”
Born and raised in Pune, Arzooman has a Diploma in Hospitality from Australia, a degree in Professional Cooking from the Baltimore International Culinary College, USA and has a Diploma in Management studies from the Swiss Hotel Association – Les Roches, Switzerland. Whilst gaining theoretical and technical knowledge, Arzooman has also been hands on, hence making him very versatile in his trade.
Since then, his career has taken him to hotels and restaurants from Australia to the United States to back home to his native – India.
Though he specializes in Mediterranean Cuisine, as a result of his travelling and absorbing the cuisines of different places, he has picked up a lot of cooking techniques, ingredients from each and every place that he has worked and brought about some element of his own creativity to that cuisine.
During his career as a Chef with the Taj Group of Hotels he has worked at the Taj Fisherman’s Cove, Chennai, The Taj Green Cove Resort, Kovalam – Kerala, The Taj Fort Aguada Beach Resort – Goa, Vivanta bt Taj – Whitefield, Bangalore and now at the Vivanta by Taj – Bentota, Sri Lanka.
CHEF ARZOOMANS FOOD PHILOSOPHY:
“Cuisine is experimentation, research, imagination and most importantly, guest’s appreciation and I have built my food philosophy on the harmony of all these aspects”
“Seeing the colors and breathing in the aromas of fresh ingredients are all the inspiration I need,” “From there, I begin to visualize the combinations and construct the recipes.”
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS/ CONTRIBUTIONS:
• Led the Taj team in ‘Chef Guild’, an annual competition across the culinary field in Sri Lanka, from July 23-27, 2015 and secured 22 medals. (2 gold, 7 silver, 13 bronze)
• In July 2014, Arzooman re-ignited the colonial fever in Bangalore by re-introducing colonial food enjoyed during the British Raj. Living in Whitefield, intrigued his curiosity to find out more about the cuisine of that time. During his research he came across a family having roots from past who shared with him a 100 year old recipe book. Using this book as the premise he successfully put up an Anglo-Indian food festival, which was very well received and appreciated by the fine diners of the city.
• Introduced innovative dining concepts such as ‘Casanova Diaries’, ‘Dining on Salt’, ‘The Black Garlic Experience’ and ‘Probiotic Breakfast’.
• Was an integral part of the Taj Management Training Programme (TMTP) for three consecutive years.
• Responsible for the global launch of the brand ‘Vivanta’ on 14 September, 2010.
SOME SIGNATURE DISHES:
• Black & White Sesame Crusted Sea Bass, beetroot reduction and lemon scented rice.
• Pizza con Salmone e Mascarpone, handmade thin crispy pizza with smoked salmon and mascarpone
• Mildly spiced “Goan” Crab Cake, Kokum fluid gel, basil seeds
WORDS HE LIVES BY IN HIS KITCHEN :
“Let’s not even talk about what we can’t do, let’s just talk about what we can do!”