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Meet Chef Tanvi Chandan

Chef Tanvi Chandan is the Consulting Chef and Menu Curator at Little Green Cafe. In conversation with Explocity, Chef Tanvi believes that there is no such thing as authentic cuisine. She says cooking and food are dynamic and based on each chef’s interpretation. Read more to know her views on molecular gastronomy.

Where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Mumbai till I was 20, however my career has lead me to work across India. I worked with the Oberoi Hotels. I did a two-year course at the Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development Learning (OCLD) and thenwas posted as the Kitchen Executive for the Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur for over a year. I have worked in Delhi, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Shimla and Udaipur.

What led you to becoming a chef?

Food was a very central part of my family life. Dinner table conversations were about food. My grandmother was a great host. People visited often and no one was allowed to leave without eating something, even if it was only the postman. I therefore enjoyed cooking and experimenting with different cuisines.

Cooking was my one true passion. When observed my peers, they were running in some kind of a rat race. They showed no enthusiasm towards something that they were doing for at least 10 hours of their adult life, each day.

I decided to blend my vocation and avocation and enrolled myself in IHM (Institute of Hotel Management) Mumbai.

How long have you been a chef?

Professionally it’s been eight years however I used to spend a lot of time in my household kitchen since I was about four or five years old.

What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?

Cooking. I definitely enjoy it more. It’s a stress buster.

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

Food and cuisine is dynamic. There is nothing in my opinion as ‘authentic food’ in the strict sense. Every chef has his own so-called authentic recipe of Butter Chicken or Tadka Daal, yet each restaurant has its own different unique taste. So who wins this war of most authentic I don’t know. But I'm all for traditional recipes. However I am not a fan of this fusion food or molecular gastronomy as such. It’s a good fashion wave but not sustainable.

What dish do you like eating the most?

At the moment I am seven months pregnant so my preferences have changed however I am a fan of global street food whether it's Indian Chaats or Mexican Tacos or Thai Grills. I love the fun soul of culture they have in them.

What’s your least favourite dish?

Honestly can’t think of anything that I particularly dislike. My least favourite would be very sugary Indian desserts I guess.

How long have you been in Bangalore?

It will be three years this December.

Do you like it here?

The weather here is great. The food and restaurant scene is very diverse and growing. Lots of new ideas floating about lead by youthful individuals. Food tech also has become an interesting trend.