Chef Om Nayak On How Local Ingredients Can Turn Around A Dish
Image Credit: Chef Om Nayak / Pic- Pasta Bowl and Company

Chef Om Nayak who has been in the industry for more than 20 years is known for his understanding and playing with Italian flavours. With his rich experience in the hospitality industry in India and overseas, Chef Om is known for his innovations in recipes, menus and presentations and has had a privilege of serving heads of states like Late Ms. Benazir Bhutto, Mr. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of Nigeria, Australian Cricket Team, celebrities like Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova and many more renowned personalities. 

As an award-winning chef, restaurateur and a true culinary explorer, Om conceptualized The Pasta Bowl Company in 2013 when his wife Aditi who came up with the idea of opening a specialty restaurant in the buzzing neighbourhood of Gurgaon. It was the next step in his culinary journey and the first step in establishing an authentic and distinguished food enterprise. The Pasta Bowl Company is a reflection of his experience and love for Italian cuisine. He specially chose to focus and experiment with Sicilian Cuisine as he feels it’s more suited and likable to the Indian pallet.

Tortellini Puttanesca

What has been your inspiration to this trade?

My love for cooking and my interest in world history and the heritage and Romance attached to various cuisines is a big inspiration for me. My travels have led to some of the most interesting cuisines and ingredients from various parts of the world and this has always fascinated me and been a true inspiration.

When conceptualizing a new menu what are the few things that you always take care of?

The availability and quality of Ingredients is very important while I design a menu. I love to work with local produce. For me history or romance associated with dishes is the key to a good menu . Keeping  the costs involved is important too but without compromising on the quality .

What fascinates you about Italian cuisine?

Italian cuisine is governed by simplicity , a rich and diverse Culture with an interesting assortment of flavours. Even though the most complex of dish would probably involve 6-7 ingredients. The magic one can create with the most basic ingredients is fascinating.

Sicilian style gnocchi with tomatoes and herbs 

Love for cooking - Never took it as a profession. Took that as a passion, which eventually became my profession- where Passion is still of primary importance. 

What is your idea of comfort food?

Something that creates inner happiness, where your soul dances with happiness. I personally feel (read: Experienced) that it greatly is associated with an individual's mood for the moment / day.

 What’s that dish that you love to cook for your family?

Hand tossed pizzas, to Biryani, to Crepes, to Omelette / eggs for my daughters almost everyday, to pancakes to sizzlers, and the list continues.