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What Mother’s Day Means to Chef Yogen Datta

What Mother’s Day Means to Chef Yogen Datta, Executive Chef at ITC Gardenia. In conversation with Explocity, Chef Yogen Datta talks about his childhood and adulthood and the one constant: his selfless mother.

What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

As kids we would look for any excuse to have a good time and Mother’s Day presented one such opportunity. We used to step out with our mother and get pampered.

It should have been the other way around. But things changed as we grew up and spread our wings. Us kids moving to other cities, following our careers meant an empty nest back home. Though the proverbial umbilical cord had been cut, the emotional bonding held us together and Mother’s Day was one such highpoint to reach out and indulge.

Mothers are selfless beings and they find themselves standing last, prioritising life and family. This is one day when the family needs to put the mother first and pamper her back.  

Do you make something special for your mother on her day? What is it?

Since mum moved on to meet her maker, the focus is always on the other “mum” in my life... the mother of my children. This still works the same way and it is her children taking the call on how she is going to be pampered. She still may end up cooking some family favourites as mothers usually do, but there is an equal chance that we end up eating out. She gets to choose the restaurant this time around.

Tell us about you. Where did you grow up?

I was born and brought up in Delhi and was fortunate to have my grandparents around me when I was growing up. Indulgent mothers and super-indulgent grandmothers were ready to spoil us at every opportunity and non-opportunity.

What led you to becoming a chef?

One doesn’t give it a thought. But the love for food and good life nudges you towards a profession, if the opportunity exists.

How long have you been a chef?

Well nearing three decades in this uniform now.

What dish do you like eating the most?

Good food – in interesting set ups. It can be any cuisine. I like vegetarian food a lot though.

What’s your least favourite dish?

Over spiced food doesn’t go down well with me.

How long have you lived in Bangalore?

This is my second stint in the city and put together I have spent eight years here.

Do you like it here?

Yes, Bangalore is a great place to live in. The people are nice here which makes it all the more interesting for me.