Indian Masterchef at Asia big food event in Singapore
"There are many institutes which train individuals in the field of hotel management. What we lack are culinary institutes, where more emphasis is given on the expertise in the area of cooking," says Manish Mehrotra, executive chef, who is representing India amongst 15 other chefs worldwide in the summit in Singapore starting from April 25.
The 40-year-old chef would host four events like culinary experiences, masterclasses and exclusive dinners at the summit which celebrates cuisines and food cultures from around the world.
"Indian chefs are very famous abroad due to the variety of dishes, thanks to our diverse culture and tradition. There is a huge demand for Indian chefs and anybody who is taking it as a career option seriously has a bright future," says Mehrotra.
Indian chefs are now getting recognition worldwide but there is a belief that they need to break the shackles of tradition and culture to compete on international platforms.
"We are still known by kebabs and tandoors. Indian chefs, who are now very keen on experimenting with the tastes of the discerning clients, need to showcase dishes with some kind of fusion and presentation to take Indian food globally," he says.
Some credit goes to the Indian restaurants run by Bangladeshis and Pakistanis mainly in Europe.
"They used to run their business in the name of being an Indian restaurants and the menu also suggest the dishes representing Indian places or festivals. But in the last five to six years, there has been a change in perception with the huge number of Indian chefs going abroad and vice-versa," says Mehrotra.
All the food ingredients are not availible in the country all year around because of of the different seasons in the country, he points out.
Having served food to many celebrities and politicians in the past, Mehrotra says he cherishes the most meetings with Hollywood actor Ben Kingsley and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao. .