T he power-packed ‘Recipe for Success’ session had star chefs Sanjeev Kapoor, Manu Chandra, Kunal Kapur, Priyam Chatterjee and Sabyasachi Gorai speak about their culinary journeys.
Sanjeev spoke about how he feels more like a teacher than a chef, having mentored so many budding chefs for years. “The things people should remember when striving for success in this field is – don’t over think and keep it simple. Secondly, set a target and know where you are headed. Thirdly, value the system, and lastly, do smart work,” he says. “I feel responsible for whatever happens in the food industry.”
For Kunal, success isn’t just about earning big bucks or a popularity contest. “I think everyone defines their own success. There are so many people who are technically making progress in terms of hierarchy, but aren’t happy with what they are doing, which is the key to success in this field,” he says.
The youngest of the lot, 29-year-old Priyam, who grew up baking chocolate cakes with his sister in Kolkata, says, “I think the recipe for success is hard work, a lot of patience and a break-up. My options were to become the coolest druggie or the coolest chef. Thankfully, I became the latter. And yes, the breaking up was the turning point in my life.”
Manu, who has had over two decades in the industry, knew he wanted to get into cooking when he was in school itself. “But I got my conventional education and then told everyone that I was going to become a chef because people kept emphasising on how important getting a degree was. But the education did help me shape myself.”
Gorai, one of the first people to work with molecular gastronomy in the country, points out, “There is a huge deficiency of self-belief in India. But, one has to remember to stay positive and also, give back to the younger generation.”