Behind the scenes – A chef’s life

Ayushi Arora walks a mile in BrandChef of FresCo Ankit Mangla’s shoes to find out what really happens behind the swivel doors that lead to the inner sanctum of a restaurant – the kitchen. 

Chef Ankit (right) with a colleague at work, happily cooking !

Brand Chef Ankit (right) with Head Chef Dhruv, planing the upcoming week’s buffet menu. “Work timings often depend on the operations. You could start at 3am and finish 3am the next morning. Each day is different.”

Detailing every step of cooking
There IS a plan. “We usually chalk-out a detailed buffet menu with preparation methods, and paste it on the kitchen’s wall for Junior Chefs to follow diligently.” Okay, so its more like your morning prayer and weekend assignment all rolled into one.”

Failure is not an option

“When we’re expecting VVIP’s  there is an even more detailed plan. Failure is not an option!”

Weighing every ingredient

Weigh in – Even food is conscious about packing on the pounds. “Putting out consistently great food means standardising everything right down to the tiny details.”

Concoction of Red Wine & Mushrooms

Chef Ankit creates a Red Wine-Chicken Sauce  “Yes, we wish we could sip on some in the process. No, we don’t!”

Understanding the nuances of Wine

“Sampling multiple glasses of wine to learn about its nuances, is just another day on the job for some of us.”

Interacting with guests

“Interacting with guests is always fun. Brilliant ideas come from the most unexpected places.”

Also, excellent feedbacks keep us going!

“We LOVE  hand-written notes, keep them coming.”

Smiling Patrons

Nothing perks us up more than some genuine appreciation (and a few selfies) with a good-looking guest.

We get to travel to different countries, and explore their Cuisine.

“Trips to Italy only mean new ingredients to play..umm…work with…”

Every hour is spent on the feet

“But travelling for work or during training also means running around, and every hour spent on our feet is fierce.”

No time to eat, so we choose to stand and fill ouselves

“We get an average of three to five minutes to wrap-up our meals. We often eat standing up and are already planning what to get back to cooking before we finish.”

Marinating quintals of turkey
“Even on the third consecutive day of marinating and roasting 180 kgs of turkey for Christmas, we still look  forward to the outcome.”

Hi tech toys like Combi-Ovens

“Bulk orders only mean that we bring out the big boy toys that we don’t always have the opportunity to use. They preserve pre-cooked food prepared for parties or big orders of many guests.

Hi tech toys, Hi tech Cold Rooms

The Cold room is a walk-in refrigerator that we sometimes step into for a much needed one minute-icy break.

Premium meats that look fancy

“Premium meats that look fun, funky or exotic are usually the subjects for our candid photography.”

Write and paint on plates, just a way of entertaining ourselves at work

“Entertainment takes on different forms. Sous Chef  Suresh is fantastic at sketching on plates.”
Cooking, talking, meeting new people and making our guests happy with what we cook; its just the way life picks up!

“The most interesting part about being a Chef is meeting people from different walks of life with different tastes and upbringings, and finding out that there is always a middle ground. It is strange how you can always find something from cultures that overlap and often these make for the beginning of very good friendships.”

Fabulous food

“Of course, being a chef , you’re bound to run into some fabulous food and great chefs along the way.”

Food, sleepless nights, torn shoes, cuts and burns, deadlines, training and thinking on your feet go hand-in-hand with a Chef’s life. If you have an insight or a comment you’d like to share, leave us a comment or tweet to us @wecallitwow. We’d love to hear from you.


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