Chef Uddipan Chakravarthy Talks About Travelling with Matt Preston
Chef Uddipan Chakravarthy
Executive Chef, Vivanta by Taj -Yeshwantpur
How was it working with Matt Preston?
Since Matt was a on a tour to understand Indian flavours and cuisines, we travelled, across the country like vagabonds; experimenting with cuisines from different regions. We toured across cities visiting the houses of some of the country’s most prominent people; we visited popular eating joints, havelis, dhabas, langars, temples etc. While I was playing tour guide to him, I got to learn a lot about him as a Chef and his cooking styles and technique. India is absolutely incredible. During our travel together Matt gave me an insight into Australian cuisine, drawing a parallel to how his country was very different from ours in terms of the food.He mentioned that Australian cuisine is nascent when compared to India. At the end of the tour Matt told me that he was left in awe by the intricacies of Indian cuisine.
Which regional cuisine do you like best?
Like everyone else, I enjoy my mother's cooking that entails traditional Bengali cooking. And being a Bengali I share an irrevocable relationship with the cuisine from my native land. However, every cuisine has star dishes and it would be unfair to draw comparison. It is said you can eat more varieties of cuisines in India than the rest of the world together. Being a chef in this country, I am surprised with the discovery of new and different strokes of flavours every day.
What is the most extravagant meal you have had?
Innovation and standards in food is changing so fast that it surpasses my previous experience very quickly. So it would be hard to place my finger on that one experience of the being the most extravagant or the best.
Where did you grow up? How has that influenced your cooking style?
My dad was in a job where he used to get transferred very frequently. So when we move around frequently I was exposed to different cultures and most importantly different cuisines. When I joined hospitality industry, I worked in many different cities which further enhanced my experience as a chef. This constant move across geographies and regions taught me about food culture, habits and palate demands. My curiosity to understand the intricacies of local delicacies of the cities that I lived in helped me tweak the food according to their penchant. My experience of having lived and experienced cultures enabled me to be versatile.