#EpicureanJourneys: A Chat with Corporate Chef Manjit Gill
Indian cuisine has carved its space into the international culinary scene, and one of the people we have to thank is ITC Hotel’s corporate chef, Manjit Gill. His four decades of experience has seen him oversee renowned restaurants in India, some of which are Bukhara, Dum Pukht, K&K and Royal.
He has also been an active figure in propagating India’s culinary excellence in the global stage, and was recognised for his contributions when he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ministry of Tourism in 2006. Not content on resting on his laurels, he continues to innovate in the kitchen and inspire the younger generation to bring his beloved cuisine to greater heights.
I start my day with… thanks. I thank the universe and the Almighty for yet another day of knowledge, food, wisdom and light. I also say a prayer so that I am able to pass on the same knowledge, as it helps me sleep better.
Other than my cuisine, I also enjoy… the indigenous and regional cuisines of countries I travel to. I am intrigued by other cultures’ culinary rituals.
I can cook the meanest… when I have the freshest and most natural local ingredients available. It also helps to know the diners’ preferred tastes, which ultimately challenges me to create something special.
Tandoori Jhinga Bukhara
If you ever visit my country, you must try the… regional cuisines of India. In my country, the cuisines and languages change every 100 kilometres; so in order to get a true sense of the place that you are visiting, you must indulge in the local cuisine and enjoy the incredible tastes India has to offer.
My Epicurean Journeys menu is… an ode to the six tastes (sour, sweet, salt, bitter, pungent and astringent). It is based on the principles of Indian gastronomical science and is a vertical of Ayurveda.
The inspiration behind these dishes… stems from the gamut of wealth that we possess in our centuries-old culture that has influenced our cuisine. It is an ode to the diners in Singapore and the enthusiasm to work with chefs from other cultures involved with the Epicurean Journeys.
Chandra Gupta Malpua
Diners will be surprised to know that… the meal will commence with something sweet, and that the menu will be a perfect balance of all six tastes.
My favourite Singapore food is… chicken rice. I had it at a place two lanes away from Raffles Hotel (Purvis Street).
If I weren’t a chef… I would have been an artist, so I can find an expression of myself in some form. Perhaps I would be an architect.
I can’t live without… a satiating meal which inspires me and brings me happiness.
Corporate chef Manjit Gill's Prithvi Rasa: A Journey of 6 Tastes dinner menu happens on 30 May, 7pm, at the Fullerton Waterboat House. For more information, please visit the website.