CHEF OF THE WEEK
With over a decade’s experience in the hospitality industry, Chef Kapil Chauhan has honed his skills handling operations for food halls, a la carte, banquets and buffets. In his new role at Soul Pantry, Chef Kapil shoulders the responsibility of overseeing the overall operations of the kitchen, leading the kitchen team and crafting new menus.
Chef Kapil started his career with Taj Usha Kiran Palace in the year 2008 after completing his degree from Institute of Hotel Management, Gwalior. He has worked with well-known brands like Royal Orchid Hotels, Taj Hotels, Hyatt Regency Ludhiana, before associating with Andaz Delhi, where Kapil joined as the Sous Chef during the pre-opening phase of the hotel. At the hotel’s FoodHall AnnaMaya, he assisted the Executive Chef in overall kitchen operations and administration. He was also responsible for taking care of all the provisional and perishable requirements on a daily basis as well as managing food costs and other departmental expenses.
In his present position as Sous Chef of the new outfit of Andaz, ie Soul Pantry, Chef Kapil is at the helm utilising his sound knowledge on managing, controlling and training the staff and at the same time keeping a track of special requests from guests.
In a candid conversation, he talks more about himself and his work:
How would you describe yourself?
A creative person who can rustle up a dish even when there are not enough ingredients to cook and make use of what’s available.
What is your philosophy of cooking?
Prepare the dish that satisfies all the diner’s senses.
Had you not been doing this, then what?
I would have been a mechanical engineer
What is your source of inspiration?
Reading cookbooks, watching culinary videos online and keeping up with the latest trends and dining out.
What skills are necessary to be a good chef?
Attention to detail, business acumen, sense of hygiene and cleanliness, creative mind, quick decision maker, motivational, multitasker, team player.
How do you de-stress?
If you had to describe yourself in one word?
How do you rate yourself as a chef?
Fav restaurant/food joint?
Your favourite diner?
Whoever walks into my restaurant
Your hot selling item?
Lessons learnt in the kitchen?
To be well organised and not leave anything for last minute.
Last meal on earth: What would you choose?
I would just ask for a home- cooked meal
Recipe for Levantine Flat Bread Amaranth Dough
Recipe for Dough:
Amaranth flour 140g
Italiana politana Whole wheat 260g
Fresh yeast 4g
Extra virgin olive oil 20g
Sour apple water (needs to be
fermented for 2 days at room
- Combine all ingredients in the dough machine except for the water and mix the ingredients together at slow speed.
- Start adding water, small quantity at a time; turn the machine on medium speed for the gluten to develop.
- Needle the dough until the gluten is fully developed, take it out of the machine. Always keeping in mind, the dough should not exceed the temperature of 28°c.
- Rest the dough for half an hour.
- Divide the dough into pieces weighing 200g each, shape the dough into tight balls and place them in the plastic container, rest them in the chiller for at least 10 hours.
Recipe for Toppings
Chickpea 200 gm
Avocado for base 250 gm
Sumac powder 50 gm
Fresh mint leaves 20 gm
Fried chickpea 50 gm
Lemon juice 25 gm
Avocado cube for garnishing 50 gm
Homemade Soul seasoning 10 gm
Tahini paste 3 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
- Boil chickpea well, drain water, take 2 medium ripped avocados, peel and scoop out, then mix with chickpea.
- Blend together and add lime juice, salt, tahini paste, olive oil.