Having received her earlier education in the field of Economics, Chef Pallavi Nigam Sahay, with a happy accident, decided to switch careers to become a chef.
And in no time; literally, Pallavi has shot more than 35 recipe videos with prestigious YouTube channels like Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana and leading lifestyle channel Food Food India. She has also published more than 50 articles and shot over 30 recipe videos for the Times of Oman as their Recipe Developer & Food Columnist. Chef Pallavi has also been actively involved as a consultant chef with a leading restaurant group in Muscat (Oman) and has conceptualized the establishment of a multi-cuisine fine dining restaurant which is due to open soon.
We got a chance to interact with this lady of immense talent, about food and her life. Here are the excerpts.
SV: Why did you decide to become a chef? What other back-of-the-house positions have you previously held?
PNS: Since childhood I have always loved cooking and never shied away from experimenting in the kitchen. It was this constant urge to learn more and more about the culinary world that helped me to switch careers from being an Economist to a Chef.
When you’re in this business you start right at the bottom of the pyramid, there were days when I used to just gouge out the eye of tomatoes and do extensive store pickups, but then that’s how you learn and progress to be a chef.
SV: Did you go to culinary school? What credentials did you earn through your culinary studies?
PNS: I went to a culinary school in Italy called ICIF, where I completed my culinary diploma course.
SV: What did Chef Pallavi Nigam Sahay, like the best and the last about the educational experience?
PNS: Educational experience gave me answers to a lot of my very basic questions about cooking, what I liked the best was clearly understanding the technicalities of the subject. Once you grasp these concepts you can successfully create your own recipes. This is especially helpful in bakery. What I liked least was extensive clean ups and setting up mise en place after the practical class of 4 hours and lecture of 3 hours.
SV: What’s your philosophy when it comes to food?
PNS: Keep it simple.
SV: What inspires you? How do you come up with ideas for the dishes?
PNs: A desire to become better and better at my work inspires me the most. Well mostly Ideas are a result of the never-ending demand for new recipes resulting in a lot of research across cuisines. My focus is on modifying the basic recipes in order to suit the modern Indian Palate.
SV: And what is the favorite dish of Chef Pallavi Nigam Sahay on her own menu and why?
PNS: Spaghetti Aglio Olio, it’s amazing how few simple ingredients can create such wonderful taste.
SV: Do you have any vivid or memorable food experiences that impacted on you as a child or as a young chef?
PNS: My mom is a superb cook, whatever she cooks is always an experience for all of us, so I think that had a big impact on my mind
SV: What do you know about or think of food bloggers?
PNs: I think they are doing an amazing job, it’s because of them the food scene in India is changing, and people are becoming more aware about international food, ingredients, recipes etc. I also think because of bloggers, restaurants are becoming more careful towards their customers and the food they serve because they don’t want a bad review.
SV: Is there a particular dish you crave for when you’re sick?
PNS: Yes, my Moms Moong-Dal Khichdi
SV: Do you have any tips for budding chefs?
PNS: Please don’t get lost in Fusion; sometimes it can create big confusion.