In talks with Chef Ashish…
Q1: What does cooking mean to you?
– Cooking according to me is a playground to experiment with ingredients. There are days when things don’t go right, but the moment I step into the arena (the range), everything seems like a cake walk!
Q2: What motivated you to become a chef?
– My love for cooking took birth during school camps where I was always given responsibility of cooking food for everyone. I never gave becoming a chef a thought at that point in life and was instead preparing to join defense services. As luck would have it, a friend suggested I fill in the form for IHM Pusa in New Delhi as a back-up plan in case I didn’t make to the services.
Q3: Highpoint of your work.
– The turning point in my career was the opening of one of the most iconic restaurants, Threesixty°, at The Oberoi, New Delhi. As part of my research, I got the opportunity to travel across the world, sampling cuisines from the by-lanes of Bangkok to the Michelin starred restaurants of Hong Kong.
Q4: How long have you been cooking?
– I have been cooking for the last 17 years.
Q5: Where did you train to be a chef?
– An IHM Pusa, New Delhi graduate with over 16 years of experience in the culinary industry, I specialize in western cuisine and ensure that each dish created by me reflects my passion for food.
Post my stint at the Taj Group from 1998 to 2002, I led the kitchen teams at The Oberoi, New Delhi, Trident, Udaipur followed by The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and then The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh, Egypt before joining Trident, Bandra Kurla.
Q6: Why did you choose to become a chef?
– People eat to live and Punjabis live to eat is something I believe in.
My love and passion for food has given me the strength to distinctly feel each flavor. I noticed this ability of mine when I was in college and therefore made up my mind about choosing cooking as a profession.
Q7: How would you describe your ‘Style of Cooking’?
– My cooking style is based on the rules of French cuisine.
• No compromise on taste
• Each and every ingredient deserves its individual respect
• Food should be as less complicated as possible
• Less is more
Q8: Which dishes do you like cooking the most?
– It’s difficult to zero down on one but I love cooking Italian food!
Q9: What’s your favorite ingredient to cook? Why?
Q10: What’s your most interesting/fun time in the kitchen every day?
– Cooking, cooking and cooking!
Nothing could be better than cooking.
Q11: What’s the first thing you do when you enter your kitchen for the day?
• Wash and sanitize my hands
• Check my kitchen
• Check the product
Q12: Which other chef do you admire?
– I am a fan of Chef Thomas Keller
Q13: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a chef?
– Nothing comes for free in this world. To be successful one needs to be hard working, patient and creative. Highs and lows are part and parcel of learning and come and go in phases. Never get disheartened with your failures, just get up again and prove that nothing is difficult!
Chef’s Profile: ASHISH BHASIN Executive Chef – Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai
‘A happy heart makes happy food’ is the philosophy that Executive Chef Ashish Bhasin wakes up to every morning. An IHM Pusa, New Delhi graduate with over 16 years of experience in the culinary industry, Chef Ashish specializes in western cuisine and ensures that each dish he creates reflects his passion for food. Born and brought up in Ajmer, Rajasthan, Chef Bhasin began his career with The Oberoi Group to open one of the country’s most iconic restaurants, Threesixty°, at The Oberoi New Delhi.
As part of his research, he traveled across the world, sampling cuisines from the by-lanes of Bangkok to the Michelin starred restaurants of Hongkong. This exposure widened his horizons as a chef and enriched his awareness about global cuisine.
Post his stint at The Oberoi, New Delhi, Chef Bhasin has led the kitchen teams at Trident, Udaipur followed by The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and then The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh, Egypt before joining Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai. An avid team player, he doesn’t consider what he does every day as ‘work’ in the traditional sense of the word- instead, Chef Bhasin feels his workplace is where he gets to spend time with friends and they cook a meal together.
On a mission to spread happiness through food, Chef Bhasin has now embarked on the next leg of his culinary journey in the city of dreams as Executive Chef at Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai.