CHEF OF THE WEEK
Heading the F&B operations at Dita’s is Chef Ravi Ranjan who has a keen eye to find unusual combinations and penchant for contemporary as well as comfort European and American cuisine. He loves the challenge of cooking with new ingredients and ideas. He studied BSc in Hospitality & Hotel Administration from NCHMCT Pusa, and holds experience of working at Radisson White and Sands Resorts Goa, ITC Sheraton Chennai and Live Bar and Kitchen New Delhi and Sous Chef at Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt Ltd.
In a candid conversation, he talks more about himself and his work:
Your philosophy on food?
Integrity, fresh is always better, nutrition is important, food safety is a moral obligation. Chefs need to be leaders and not dictators.
Your fav cuisine?
Modern European, American and Pan Asian Cuisine.
Your idol ?
Chef Shamsul Wahid.
Your fav spice?
My favourite spice is fennel.
Your hot selling dish?
My hot selling dish is truffle mushroom pate with garlic butter sliced baguette.
Lessons learnt in the kitchen?
Believe that life is always working for you, not against you. Things can go wrong in the kitchen — they inevitably do, no matter how prepared we are. However, I am a firm believer that there is always a good reason for everything. We just have to be willing to wade through the challenge and be open to the lesson.
Just live it — or maybe a better way to say it is: Just cook it!
How do you like to de-stress?
If I find my work as a chef becoming too stressful, I carve out time to make food for myself. No matter what I may whip up, I make sure it’s a dish that interests me and engages my culinary skills.
How do you define yourself?
I firmly believe the occupation of a chef is best described as a craft. I feel that a chef teaches a craft and a cook learns it. I believe that a chef will continue to learn and evolve throughout one’s career, so, within every chef resides a cook. I am a sincere, loyal and dedicated individual towards my work with a great deal of ambition.
What are you passionate about?
Uplifting others. Kindness is an investment that always pays back dividends, not necessarily from outside, but for one’s own peace of mind and soul.
Last meal on earth, what would you choose?
A plate of linguine simply dressed with garlic, crab, olive oil, garlic and parsley.
Recipe: Truffle Parmesan soup with Crispy Onion
For serving four:
Cauliflower florets 850gm
Olive oil 60ml
Italian breadcrumbs 90gm
Garlic powder 20gm
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable broth 950ml
Fresh thyme 1 sprig
Chives 5 gm
Grated parmesan cheese 75 gm
Truffle oil 5 ml
Onion crispy 25gm
- Put the olive oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add garlic powder, chopped onion and thyme, and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Add the roasted cauliflower, vegetable broth then stir.
- Bring to boil.
- Add the thyme then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and remove the thyme.
- Use an immersion or countertop blender to blend the soup until smooth.
- Mix the parmesan cheese and chives.
At the time of serving, garnish with crispy onion and serve with a hint of truffle oil.