Rajesh Radhakrishnan, Director – Food Production
The Park, Chennai
What cuisines do you specialise in:
I specialise in Indian, Italian and modern French cuisine. I would like to classify my speciality as ‘Modern world cuisine’. My initial training has been in Indian and South Indian food and gradually learning various International cuisines especially Italian, as expected of any new age chef.
How long have you been a chef, and what is your favourite thing about the job:
I have been cooking for 16 years including the learning at ‘ The Culinary School’ it has been 19 years. I love to work with ingredients and am very passionate about the food that we cook at The Park. I have a team of highly motivated and like-minded people working with me, and the appreciation that we receive from our diners is what we love and adore the most. The fact that I get to meet many wonderful people during the course of the day is another favourite thing.
What is your take on reality cooking shows:
The international reality cooking shows are doing some good in general to the culinary world by showcasing a lot of global ingredients and cooking techniques. On the whole I feel they are improving the awareness among the public. It definitely has helped develop a connection between the restaurant guest, the ingredients and the chefs who transform those ingredients into delectable dishes.
What is your idea of a perfect weekend breakfast:
I would love to say dosa or idli with hot dambar and chutney because it is a healthier option, but in reality the weekend is the time for indulgence, and hot poories and aloo bhaji is a favourite.
If you were allowed to serve just one dish to a guest to bowl them over, what would it be:
That is a tricky question as food is such a subjective topic that one person’s favourite is a strict no to another. I am an absolute seafood lover and I would serve my Baked Seabass with mushrooms and young potatoes with salsa verde
What’s your take on the food scene in Chennai:
The food scene in Chennai is getting hotter by the day. The clientele is getting adventurous and knowledgeable about the food. In a way, it is great for the chefs as it pushes us to greater heights as far as creativity is concerned. Availability of ingredients is improving too, although I feel there is a long way before our farmers are supported enough so as to bring a variety of artisanal ingredients to the restaurant tables. Our country has huge potential to grow a lot of local seasonal vegetables and fruits. So, sometimes I am happy to see kiwis, lychees and apples from other countries at small retail outlets, but at the same time I wonder about what is happening to our farms and farmers.