Chef Rishi Verma recounts his extraordinary journey to success
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Arabisk London interviews Chef Rishi Verma About His Extraordinary Success Story



Chef Rishi Verma is hosted by Arabisk London, in an exclusive, intriguing interview to discover the secrets of the culinary world!

Chef Rishi Verma has established a prominent position in the highly competitive world of cooking through his successful career in the culinary industry.


“Arabisk London” hosts Chef Rishi Verma in an exclusive, intriguing interview to discover the secrets of the culinary world!


Interviewed by: Baidaa Qatlish


Rishi Verma is one of the most well-known figures in the culinary industry; describe him in your own words.

I am very focused, dedicated & passionate towards my food & my approach is always very detail-oriented.


How did your interest in food start? Why did you decide to pursue this career?

I was always interested in cuisine since I was a child. I was very fond of eating & loved the aromas & flavours from my mother’s kitchen. When I was growing up, I never knew that a career could be made in the Food industry due to very little awareness about professional culinary courses, but only when I was finishing School I got in touch with one of my Seniors who pursued Hotel Management & from there I started looking out for best colleges & landed up with WGSHA, Manipal.


Indian food is perhaps one of the most significant in the world. What, in your opinion, sets it apart from other cuisines?

I would say it is the Diversity in the country, which makes it so different. Back home every 100Kms you travel, the Landscape changes & so with that the culture & the food. This is what makes it so special. The techniques used in Indian cuisine in many of the dishes take years to master. The multiple complexities are needed to balance the final flavours of the dish & as a chef, you need to understand the role of each & every ingredient, spices & technique to bring flavours together.


What foods do you enjoy making?

I must say the Curries. For me, cooking the curries is an Art, Every curry made by someone has a part of their soul in it. Which makes them so unique. The pastry is something which always gets on my Nerves.


How do you infuse modern cooking techniques with Indian culinary traditions?

In my opinion, before breaking down any dish & infusing it with modern Techniques, A chef needs to understand how to keep the soul of the dish intact. I always try to keep the overall experience or the Nostalgia of the dish intact, By playing around how the dish is perceived. But in the end, when someone takes a bite of it, It will straight away give them Nostalgia & they would be able to relate to something they have tasted before.


Which difficulties did you face most frequently in your role as a chef?

I think the most difficult stage for any Chef who starts is the Initial 5-6 Years when you work at the ground level. You are bullied by your superiors, have to work long hours 16-18 hrs a day, fill in the positions, because your superior wants to take a break & you just put your head down & learn & absorb. But towards the end, I think these challenges faced is what makes one a very Sorted Individual to deal with challenges & groom more talents in future.


How do you believe cooking may affect culture and intercultural communication?

Food has the power to bring people of different cultures together. The best examples can be the Holy month of Ramadan, Easter month or different festivals celebrated by different communities. All have one thing in common, The food is very specific to their beliefs & people gather around to enjoy the feast.


What do you think of the popularity of Indian cuisine abroad?

I believe it is the most popular cuisine in the world, mainly because of the bold flavours it delivers. One will find an Indian Restaurant in every corner of any city in the world. I believe it is also because of the large number of immigrants & people working as an expat in different countries & considering that India is among the world’s most populous nations, the cuisine has to be the most popular too.


Your move to Kuwait in 2018 was a significant milestone for you. Tell us more about this stage, and in your opinion, what are the similarities between Arab and Indian cuisine?

Moving to Kuwait, opened my understanding of Middle Eastern-style cooking. This is where I believe a lot of Indian Mughal-style cooking techniques originated from. There are similarities in Rice dishes and curries & more or less the community-style dining of Arabs relates to our culture too.

This is what makes me feel far away from my home. As the culture & the eating habits of the local people are very much relatable.


How will food generally develop in the future?

Moving your culture forward is, in my opinion, incredibly vital. I believe this is the way forward & we have already started seeing many of the Best restaurants across the world. Successful restaurants always have a story to tell, which causes people to feel bonded to & feel the nostalgia of their memories & connect with their community.


What factors do you find to be most crucial when selecting and using components in your cooking?

Accessibility to the ingredients chosen is very significant. I feel it’s always good to stick to the community around & try to cook with what is available around the restaurant as a source. Going with a Locally sourced ingredients menu is always better than going with all imported ingredients.


What fundamental skills should a competent chef possess?

I must say that a professional culinary degree is a must, as it enables one to develop the fundamentals & skills required to do the job.

In addition, one needs to possess a passion for the profession to succeed. As one must know, being a Chef is a demanding profession, Both Mentally & physically.


How do you stay current on developments in the culinary world? How can you ensure that updates to your list occur regularly?

I think social media, specifically Instagram, keeps us informed. I follow a lot of influential chefs around the globe, which inspires me and helps me come up with different dishes for our menu.


Can you guide young persons looking to enter the culinary industry and hone their skills?

It is very important for anyone entering this industry to have a solid Education in Culinary, to polish your basics. Once you enter the industry, I believe that you need to act like a Sponge for the first 5–6 years of your Career & learn as much as possible.

Also, it is very significant to work under Some Great Chefs, as it will enable you to think differently. The last & most essential thing is to always stay Humble. It will take you a long way.

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