What are the challenges in working with a big American brand in India?
Working with a well established brand does have a few challenges. The food Chili's serves in the US has been mastered for 40 years and they have reached a point where consistency and supply chain are fool proof. The challenge here is to identify what product can be used and which cannot as we require the end result to be of the highest standard and match the US product. They however are all positive as we get a lot of support to overcome these challenges.
What misconceptions do people have?
We serve Southwest American and Tex Mex food. The biggest misconception is that we are a classic Mexican chain, which we are not! We do serve dishes which are influenced by Mexican cuisine but are primarily Tex-Mex and from the southwest region of USA.
There are some misconceptions in terms of unhealthy food as well. We take care in ensuring the cooking procedures are monitored and followed to ensure food is not oily. All our protein is grilled which is the healthiest way of cooking – our veggies are steamed and our salads are built up using fresh ingredients. There are all options available on the menu including a lighter choice category which the calorie conscious can choose from.
Another concern people may have is we Indianise our food- We don’t do that. Tex Mex cuisine uses spices like cumin, paprika and a lot of chilies. Whatever we do we will make sure the flavors are Southwest American and Tex Mex- Those are our roots and we are very proud of them.
What cuisines do you like personally?
I don’t have a soft corner for a particular cuisine based on region. I like food which makes me happy. It can be anything from fresh Italian Pasta to stir fried Asian noodles, from charred kebabs to baked seafood, from the north to the south from the east to the west of any region in the world. There is style of cooking which I however like – ‘Smoking food’ is probably the best way to cook food. There is so much more to food when it is smoked.
Tell us more about the craft burgers
The first ever Chili’s served burgers and we kept those recipes as they were old school classic favorites with a few adaptations. What we have done now is renovated and innovated the burger category. Our burgers are traditionally called ‘BIG mouth burgers’ Craft burgers do justice to this term- They are huge.
We have some amazing new sauces, a gorgeous and succulent lamb patty which we have introduced for the first time.
Lastly there has been a lot of science used in developing the bun for these burgers. A lot of effort has gone to make these. It is probably a very common ingredient which can be bought from any local baker to make things work.
Chili’s American Grill & Bar, Plot No: 1135, HAL stage-2, 100 ft road, Opposite Axis Bank, Indiranagar, Bangalore