Chef Das Interview - Part 1
Posted on 19th September 2014
Here starts a series of posts in which Chef Das talks us through the passion which drives him to produce such innovative dishes at Chakra.
Chakra's Kitchens would not be the same if it were not for the presence, talent and passion of Chef Das. For well over a decade, Das has worked with the team at Chakra, bringing a lifetime of skill and knowledge to their Notting Hill kitchen. Chakra has been fortunate enough to work with Chef Das since 1991, when he joined their team at their Calcutta restaurant. Since then, he has become an integral part of the business; the mind and spirit of their authentic Indian menu.
Unlike many chefs of the new generation Chef Das is entirely self-taught, and has no teacher to drive him - just his own passion and instinctive palate:
“As a young man I wanted to make a living for myself and become independent. I had always had a passion for cookery, and growing up in India I had been exposed to such a delicious and varied world of food. My first job was as a chef in a restaurant where I grew up and immediately I knew that it was what I was meant to do.”
Given his many years of expertise, and knowledge of Indian culture, there is no one better to control a kitchen and seamlessly produce dishes which emulate both the Maharajah kitchen and Indian Street food.
“Both Street food and that served in the Maharajah kitchen are representative of Indian food”, Das explains, “it is just the contexts of them that are different. The food of the Maharajah kitchen is a delicacy in India and that food is what is served in the palaces of India. Street food on the other hand is accessible to everyone in India, and is what people enjoy with their friends and family for the evening meals. Both styles of cookery are rich and varied and our menu at Chakra has dishes which are directly from these styles or inspired by them.”