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Meet The Chef - Manu R Nair

Manu R Nair
Executive Chef at South Indies

How long have you been a chef?
Professionally I have been a chef for the last 8 years now.

What are your signature dishes?
Well its very hard to define my signature dishes from so many. But to choose a few - elaneer payasam, Andhra steamed fish, saboodana cheese wada, malabar mamsam wada, podi tossed idly, tender coconut mousse and malabar paratha sandwich.

Who or what inspired you to take up cooking?
There are many people who actually inspired me. First of all my granny whom I used to spend a lot of time with in the kitchen as a child, since I always liked to stay indoor and hated outdoor sports. Secondly, my dad who is according to me the best chef. We used to eagerly wait for his day off because he would cook. Thirdly, my mom. Being a working woman, she would balance her work and family life. I learnt so many cooking tips and zhatpat ideas from her. Lastly, chef Sanjeev Kapoor. I don’t think I have missed even a single show of his as a kid.

What has been your most memorable moment or biggest achievement as a chef?
For a chef the biggest achievement is when his guests are delighted by his food, and obviously when he gets a nice compliment for a wonderful meal.

What kind of food do you personally enjoy eating?
I personally love south Indian vegetarian food, simple ghar ka khana. But when it comes to tasting and trying out new cuisines I am a complete foodie, anything and everything is acceptable!

Why do you think there aren't many women chef around?
I strongly disagree. The chef’s profession has gained popularity in the country very recently. Despite that there are still many women celebrity chefs who have created their mark in the world today. Even in my restaurant, I find a huge level of encouragement and interest shown by women chefs. Most of the high positions for chefs in our company are occupied by women today.

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