Chef Manish Mehrotra has won many prestigious awards like HT’sBest Chef of 2010, American Express Best Chef of the year, 2010, his restaurant Indian Accent has now bagged the Best Modern Indian Restaurant by Times Food Guide 2011 and it has also been recognized ‘amongst the top 3 modern Indian restaurants in India’ by The Wall Street Journal (March 2011). And the food he serves up has got uniformly high ratings on Tripadvisor giving Indian Accent the rank of number one restaurant in Delhi. Despite these achievements and accolades, he remains humble and real to the core, and his food continues to deliver an authentic yet fresh and quirky, adventure.
Birthday: 20th January 1974 | Sun Sign: Capricorn | Place of Birth: Patna | Hometown: Patna
School/College: Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai| First Job: The Pavillion at Taj President| Currently Doing: Exceutive Chef, Pan Asian Cuisine, Old World Hospitality
High Point of your Life: Winning Foodistan | Low Point of your Life: Yet to come
AW) When and why did you decide to become a chef?
MM- It was a conscious career choice for me to get into hotel management. And then I gravitated to the kitchen since it is the most creative option.
AW) If not a Chef, then what?
MM- Probably I would be managing my father’s petrol pump business.
AW) Do you remember the first ‘Manish Mehrotra’ dish you cooked?
MM- When Khao Suey had yet to become popular in India, I introduced it at the Oriental Octopus in 2001.
MM-Ananda Solomon, and most definitely my wife. I am thankful for her love and support.
AW) The best compliment you have received so far
MM- (Answers coyly): “I want to take you home” as is sometimes said by lady diners.
AW) Your family…
MM- Wife and a six year old daughter
AW) With long working hours, especially on weekends and festivals, how do you keep your family happy?
MM- It was tough in the beginning, but now some festivals like Diwali I do manage to spend at home. But the fact is that we work hardest when our customers want to celebrate. I do take them out often for family moments together.
AW) What is your favourite food?
MM- Mushroom risotto, and especially when I have been travelling a lot, I love to come back to my butter chicken and garlic naan.
AW) One dish of your grandmother, which you could never replicate?
MM- Laddos made out of mathri
MM- With lots of reading, research and my big collection of books!
AW) One kitchen tool, you cannot live without?
AW) You get your inspiration from? Who is your role model?
MM- Rick Stein – he is an honest and “purest’ chef when it comes to the taste.
AW) What would you like your last meal in this world to be?
MM- Of course Peeli daal, chawal, sukhe aaloo
AW) What scares you?
MM- Guests not going happy from the restaurant be it food or service.
AW) Which is your favourite food holiday destination?
MM- Thailand and London
AW) One tip that you would like to give to budding chefs?
MM- Never follow a recipe as a bible. Follow it as a guideline and add your touch to it.
AW) What keeps you on your toes?
MM- High expectations of the guests that I have to exceed everytime.
AW) If you had to mind your weight, what would you cook as diet food?
MM- There is no better diet food than normal Indian food eaten at proper time.
AW) What will be the name of your restaurant?
MM- Never thought about it. If I open a restaurant, food will become my last focus, and that I do not want.
AW) The last line of your autobiography would be…
MM- Good food. Fed well.
AW) Please share one of your favourite recipes with your fans.
for aprox 25 to 30 pieces
refined flour 250 gms
jaggery 60 ml
desi ghee 90 gms
water as required
mishti doi (mother dairy) 1 kg
popped amaranth seeds 50 gms
toffee sauce 50 ml
- hang mishti doi in a muslin cloth or sieve for about 3 hours. drain as much water as possible
- mix toffee sauce and popped amaranth and make small firm balls to make amaranth ladoo
- make a smooth dough using refined flour, jaggery, desi ghee and water.
- rest the dough for 15 min and then roll into a thin sheet of . 5 mm thickness.
- using a round shape cutter of 1.5 inches diameter, cut round discs of the flattened dough.
- roll each sheet on a .75 inch thick stainless steel pipe to make a cannoli.
- bake at 180oc for 8-10 min.
- remove from oven when crisp and light brown in colour. take out from pipe carefully, fill in the chilled hung mishti doi using a piping bag and serve immediately with amaranth laddoo.