Chef Krishna Sharma endowed us the chance of a one-to-one talk and it was an awesome experience indeed. He is the executive sous chef, The Park, and is very excited at the launch of Monsoon, a full day dining restaurant with an eye popping menu.
He has added beautiful dishes that’re lush with enthusiasm and adventure. The restaurant offers pan Indian and International cuisines with style and passion. For the first time, the discussion strays often to food and drool-worthy dishes rather than a journey, and we love this straying!
1) How do you describe your style of cooking? Give a simple example.
I always strive to reproduce the age-old and traditional dishes of an area, with my own uniqueness blended in. Even small things like adding crushed cardamom to the boiled mango pulp would result in a lovely, aromatic Mango Shorbet after proper blending.
2) How do you keep the restaurant running in chaotic situations? How do you calm everyone around you?
The objective of every executive chef should be to satisfy the guests’ expectations from the food. I keep everybody around me calm by making sure everything happens to order, and by meeting guests and to ensure everything is going well through their meal.
3) What was your inspiration getting into this profession?
It was my passion that drove me to learning cooking and experimenting with food and ingredients. Since my childhood, I love to eat, which again helped me strive towards becoming a better cook.
4) What is your signature dish?
The Signature Mud Cake. It is a favorite among Bangloreans from the last 14-years at The Park. I try to make most of my dishes inventive, with inspiration from more than one cuisine.
5) Is there one secret ingredient or spice you love to cook with?
You’ve guessed it. I love to cook with cinnamon. Also, there’s saffron. Actually our spices are so varied and well differentiated that you can use each and every one of them in carving out a great dish.
6) What is the most interesting or fun experience you’ve had while in restaurants?
One of the guest always used to mention that the spices in your food is not at all spicy. He definitely loved spicy food. On his next visit I had to surprise him so when I went home on a visit, I bought some spices from my native place, Darjeeling. When then guest had visited again I assured him that he would love the spicy food I’m about to offer, and on tasting he was completely stunned and wondered what he had. Later he mentioned that he enjoyed his meal and wanted to know what spices I had used & requested for more chilies/spices to take away with him to his home town – Germany.
That’s the beauty of Indian spices. If you know the correct proportion, then you can make anyone’s visit memorable, with some wonderful food.
7) One cuisine you would love to experiment with?
It would be the Japanese cuisine. The sensual complexity of Japanese dishes – touch, sight, smell and taste – is a revelation. As they say, you must first understand it and accept that everything has different levels of meaning, different origins and seasons.
8) Name any other chef who inspired you at the start. And who is your best food critic?
Someone who inspired me would Chef Wing Ming Ling-Oriental Chef Indo-Chinese. And my best food critic would be Paolo Tullio, a Michelin-starred chef and a well-loved personality.
9) Favorite places to eat when you’re not at The Park? What’s your favorite gastronomical movie?
Whenever I am not at The Park, you’ll find me trying various street food around. They have varied flavors, and taste delicious.
When we ask him about his favorite gastronomical movie, he says, Cheeni Kum, where Amitabh Bachchan plays a chef. Though there were hardly any scenes with him in the kitchen, it was quite exciting for me.
10) Who did you experiment your initial recipes on?
From my initial days I experimented my cuisines on my friends and family. He chuckles. I also make different food and taste them afterwards.
11) Where do you go when you need to escape for a breather?
Whenever I need a break, I go and enjoy trekking. It calms my inner mind, and the work and energy makes me feel determined. Sometimes, I like to take refuge in music. I also sing, though won’t do that in front of you now.
12) Any advice you would give to budding chefs?
One thing I always advise people is to always stay positive. Be calm in every situation, however hard it be, and you gotta love food from your heart.
After having a great conversation, we let him into his daily activities – satisfying the visitors with awesome recipes.