There Is No Food To Die For Per Chef Manish Uniyal
Chef Manish Uniyal believes that food is to live for and enjoy. Nothing, really, is to die for. The Head Chef at Hyatt Centric is in conversation with Explocity. He takes us through his journey as a chef and how Bangalore is a chefs paradise.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Dehradun.
What led you to becoming a chef?
I have always loved cooking at home as far as I can remember. Helping my mother in the kitchen used to be my favorite ploy to keep away from studies. Then as I neared the end of my schooling, my parents encouraged me to take up this profession.
How long have you been a chef?
I have been a professional chef for 18 years.
What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?
I love creating new things. Though, I must add that cooking and creating are two sides of the same coin.
Once you have learnt the basics of cooking, the practical cooking, it allows you to amalgamate flavors, textures, and taste, in the similar way a whisky maker might blend his stuff to get the right nose or smoothness.
Do you feel there is virtue in preserving the authenticity of cuisine?
Authenticity of a cuisine is akin to traditions of the cultures it comes from, and I believe that though advancement and innovation are imperative so is the need to preserve the authenticity and originality of food.
What dishes do you like eating the most?
I love eating any kind of food that is prepared thoughtfully, with care and love.
Over the years I have eaten food that is exotic, quaint, uses most expensive ingredients and been prepared by masters, from the extreme edges of gastronomy. But trust me nothing beats the taste of a simple salad say, made with freshest, sun ripened vegetables, freshly churned butter or an earthy new potato. I would any day take the food to live for over the food to die for.
What’s your least favourite dish?
I would say it's tofu based dishes. Somehow even after trying out various versions of it, the humble bean curd has managed to be my not- so –lovable- food.
That might change though, if I decide to become a rampant vegan.
How long have you been in Bangalore?
I have recently moved back to Bangalore a couple of months back. Having spent well over three years during early stages of my career.
Do you like it here?
This city is a chef’s paradise, bliss I might add. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to getting the freshest of food, latest culinary trends, a brave new breed of diners, foodies abound who wouldn’t think twice cruising length and breadth of city to get a bite of good food.
I love reading and listening music during my free time. I also like to make scale models of aircrafts with my daughter.