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Chef Anurudh Khanna Chose Kitchen Over Cockpit

Chef Anurudh Khanna is the Executive Chef at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangalore. In conversation with Explocity, Chef Anurudh talks of the the rush of pots and pans clanking, knives slicing, and the heat from the open flames in kitchens that all add to the appeal of being a chef. Go figure.


Where did you grow up?

Delhi is home but I have spent my younger years in a lot of places since my father was in banking. I have travelled and studied in Delhi, Jammu, Chandigarh, Gurugram and Shimla. I I was born in Gurugram and most of my professional career was in Delhi.


What led you to becoming a chef?

If it wasn’t for a chef, I would have become an Air Force pilot as my grandfather was one and I was very inspired by him. But as destiny has it, I became a chef. According to me, the most exciting, challenging and creative role in the hospitality industry in that of a chef. That is why I decided that I wanted to be a professional chef.


How long have you been a chef?

I have been professionally cooking for 18 years but I started cooking at the age of 21.


What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?

I love action in the busy kitchen and the emotions that it evokes. I also love the feel of pans, pots and knives and the heat of the oven and fire. So, I would say, I love to cook more.


Do you feel there is virtue in preserving the authenticity of cuisine?

I very strongly feel that as chefs we all should try to preserve the authenticity of the cuisine. Though each chef should be innovative with his/her preparations, I believe some recipes and cuisines should never be altered as cuisine is culture and culture is best when it’s in purest form. Most rooted and natural.


What dish do you like eating the most?

I love home cooked Punjabi food which is rich and spicy. I love Rajmah and Chicken curry with rice. When it comes to international cuisines, I am very fond of Japanese as I love the freshness of raw fish in sushi and sashimi.


What’s your least favourite dish?

When I was young I used to avoid eating bitter gourd or any other gourds. Now I eat almost everything as I have realised that every vegetable has its own character and it’s in a chef’s hands as to how best it can prepared and made interesting.


How long have you been in Bangalore?

It’s been almost a year now and it is an amazing city and blessed with great weather conditions.


Do you like it here?

Yes I am enjoying my stint here. It’s an amazing city and Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru is one of the finest hotels in the country.