An Interview With Armit Chand
We sat down with our head chef Armit Chand for you, our readers and eaters, get to know him that little bit better.
When did you decide to become a chef?
The inspiration for me becoming a chef came from my mother. I used to watch her cook when I was a child and had a lot of great interest in that. I went to university and decided to pursue it as a career because I had a lot of passion for cooking.
I’d always pack my lunch box myself; my mum wouldn’t have to worry about it and it would be a workload off her. A simple recipe what I saw my mother doing, I could notice it and then put that particular dish together, be it a simple sandwich to an intense burger. She is the one who encourages me.
This gave me a lot of interest and I decided to take cooking as a career and graduate from college. I went to a cooking college in Michigan in the US and this is where I took my four years diploma in hotel management and culinary operations and I became a chef after that.
Do you have a go-to dish when cooking for friends and family?
When I’ve got friends and family coming to my place it’s a kind of joy for them as they know they are coming to a lunch or dinner at a chef’s place so they tend to know they don’t worry about the food and they don’t ask me a menu.
What I tend to cook for my friends and family is a good dish which is local and very homely and doesn’t get complicated with the stuff that we offer at the hotel but the menu is quite intense. Something from 4 to 5 type of starters to 4 to 5 main course and 3 and 4 deserts. I like to always keep my friends surprised so they don’t know what they are eating, having friends and family for so long I know their taste buds and that creates a bit of excitement in them.
When the dinner table is laid out, they just go to it. It can be a Pan Asian dish complimenting some starters from the West and for the deserts, I always to go the French deserts. From the likes of crème brulee, panna cotta and chocolate mousse and that is the type treats I will always do for my friends and family.
What is your idea of food hell, as well as your food heaven?
The idea of food hell is when you have a packed restaurant and you have 30/40 cheques in your hotel and the chef is screaming on the bus and trying to get the food sorted. That’s a chaotic kitchen, I always believe a kitchen needs to be chaotic, but it needs to be controlled. My part of food hell is when we get smashed with the orders from the restaurant.
If you ask me what the food heaven is, for me it is an easy flow of service in the restaurant. I know that is always not practical to have that in the kitchen but when you do 40 to 45 decent covers in the restaurant and the kitchen flows at the speed you want it to flow, that’s my idea of food heaven, When the dish comes out exactly how the chef wants it to be. Most of the times we always get it right but at times, when there is a lot of chaos in the kitchen that’s the place slip-ups tend to happen. I dread to see a food hell, but I enjoy seeing food heaven.