OLT: What inspired you to become a chef?
Tanuj Nayyar: I have always been an explorer and a lover of flavour and taste. I have enjoyed eating and cooking since I can remember. I do not even recall the moment when this turned into a passion and soon enough, I had opted for it as my profession. I have always had the desire to try something new with the dishes I cook. I try and use new ingredients and techniques in my cooking style and always attempt to bring unique flavours on the plate.
OLT: What are some of the challenges you have faced in your food journey?
Tanuj Nayyar: I have learnt a lot from different stints in my professional career and have put in a lot of hard work to reach where I am. When I finished my education in Nagpur and started working with ocean liners, adjusting to people from different nationalities and coping with them at a young age was a big challenge.
OLT: What is your favorite cuisine?
Tarun Nayyar: Italian
OLT: What is your favorite monsoon dish?
Tarun Nayyar: Cottage cheese- and potato-stuffed bread pakodas with hot ginger and green cardamom tea.
OLT: What are your taste buds more inclined to, sweet or savoury? Why?
Tarun Nayyar: Savoury, as it gives our taste buds a distinct flavour and each individual flavour can be relished.
OLT: What is your most memorable culinary experience?
Tarun Nayyar: During my six year stint with the cruise industry I got to work with some great chefs and explore
some unique and authentic world cuisines.
CHEF'S MONSOON PICKS
A thin slice of chicken is dipped in beaten eggs, seasoned with salt and breadcrumbs and shallow-fried in oil. It is served with tomato sauce tossed spaghetti.
Gai Yang Khamin (Thai Grilled Chicken)
Full-bodied grilled chicken seasoned with lemongrass, bird’s eye chilli, turmeric, galangal and a few Thai spices and served with Thai salad and pad Thai noodles.
A healthier and refined version of the aloo ki tikki with a tangy pea tikki stuffed with hung curd and dry fruit filling. It is served with fresh mint and coriander relish.