Chef Dheeraj is one of the country’s young upcoming celebrity chef, Traveller and host of TV Show Quick Cook for Care world TV channel. He regular columnist with Amarujala Rupiyan magazine, Mussoorie Times newspaper, Incredible chef Magazine, Femina Hindi Magazine, culinary Tales blogs and many more. Over the years I had worked for some of the world’s most recognised brand such as Ambassador Sky chef, the Claridge’s hotels, the Eros intercontinental hotels, star cruise, the royal Caribbean cruise liners, the Google Gurugram and Mosaic hotels.
When did you decide to undertake this career?
Dheeraj: After completing my school education, I started preparing for charter accountancy entrance examination, but god had another ‘Plan B’ for me. Upon unsuccessful first attempt I understood the meaning of passion. At that point of time decided to do what I most loves to do and pursue my dreams in culinary world. It is only your passion, consistent hard work and out of box thinking can survive you on top.
Cooking is in my blood and Food flavours and colour attract me very much. since childhood I loves to learn cooking from my father. He had worked for our National Carrier Indian Airlines for more than thirty years. Now my father is no more in the world, but I will keep his dreams alive. He is my biggest inspiration to become a chef.
What’s the first important meal or dish you remember making?
Dheeraj: The first very important meal prepared by me is my first food trail given to Executive chef Tarun Dacha at the Claridge’s hotels Delhi for the position of commi chef. Still remembers his question you wanted to learn, or you wanted earn money. Recently in Years 2016 my team at Google Gurugram catered Mr. Sundar Pichai the youth icon during his last visit to India at Café Air.
I always cook every dish from my heart and with love. In my kitchen we never judge customers by positions, ranks, age or money for me all guests are same and had equal rights to be served.
What is your favourite dish?
Dheeraj: Always people asks me about my favorite Dish and I always keep it simple. Dal rice khichdi with curd, ghee and raw onion prepared by my mother always brings a big smile on my face. Truly a simple dish but made with lots of love.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
Dheeraj: Cook book 1001 Recipes by world celebrity chef Martha Day is my favourite cookbook. Its includes dishes suitable for every kind of meal and occasion, from soup, snacks and main dishes to dessert, breads, cakes etc. the language is very simple with simple and easy steps.
And in my wish list is cook book from chef Vikas Khanna Returns to the rivers. I heard lot about the books. It is incredible collection of recipes, photos and memories.
What are your future plans?
Dheeraj: I never make future plans, loves to follow my passion and rest leaves on my luck and hard work. But my dream is to bring underrated Uttaranchal food to the world. These is lot of pure, healthy, and unknown ingredient’s in valley of Uttaranchal remaining to explore. Hopefully through this social platform my voice will go our related state authority. I wishing to represent myself as a food brand ambassador of Uttaranchal government in arena of food and culture.
Do you have any advice for up and coming chefs trying to break into the biz?
Dheeraj: Life is full of twists and turns. My quotes for successful professional life is “Live for your dreams and work hard to succeed them.” Without working hard and just by sitting idle it will be hard for one to get success. Since from childhood and till now I always remember the sentence that my parents used to tell me “To be a better person in life and to get success you must work hard, the result of hard work is always rewarding, so you have to work hard.” Hard times makes you stronger to face different situations.
Now days Social media power playing a fantastic role to recognise fellow and upcoming young chefs works and representing in front of the world. Social media is a game changer. Social media and social networking seem to play an imperative part of people’s lives around the world. With the rising growth of social media networking, businesses are turning to it as a means of advertisement.
Our out of box thinking, hard work and eager to show your culinary skills can lead you to successful entrepreneur or a celebrity chef.
Your Favourite ingredient?
Dheeraj: Balsamic vinegar is my favourite ingredient. It is very dark, concentred and intense in flavour. Its sweet and sour taste is always attracting me toward himself. Its only among few ingredients can be used in both sweet and sour dishes. There is a lot of scope to play around with balsamic vinegar.
Could you please explain two of the dishes you will bring to new generation?
Dheeraj: Seriously this is very difficult question to answer, first we must understand the what we are currently cooking and what we can give to our next generation. Nowadays for each popular dish you will find hundreds of recipes with little change in name and ingredients. After sometimes the dishes is losing his uniqueness and originality. As a social influencer chef, I would like handover original Uttaranchal dishes and one of my favourite fusion recipe chicken terrine chat to our next generation.