He believes that cooking with heart and honesty is what makes the food on the plate truly extraordinary, creating memorable dining experiences for guests. Mihir finds joy in cooking for his family, especially preparing breakfast, as he believes it sets the tone for a wonderful day ahead.
Being born and brought up in Pune, Mihir has been passionately working in the culinary field for over 17 years, with more than 3 years of experience as an Executive Chef. Experienced in the hospitality industry, Chef Mihir Kane studied Western and Asian cuisine at the Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology in Pune. Throughout his career, Mihir has gained diverse expertise in Western, Oriental, and Indian cuisines by working in various kitchens. Worked with renowned brands such as Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and now currently associated with Accor at Fairmont Jaipur.
Mihir says, “It's been over 5 years since I started working in Rajasthan, and Jaipur has now become my home for 3 years. Working in resorts has allowed me to deliver luxury dining experiences to guests, incorporating elements such as exquisite room amenities, indulgent hi-tea setups, expansive buffet spreads, and plated offerings. Having successfully completed FSSAI and ISO audits for previous properties, I am committed to upholding the highest standards of food safety and quality.”
Is it your first career choice? If yes, why?
Since my school days, I have always had a strong inclination towards becoming a chef. One of my early inspirations came from watching the TV show "Yan Can Cook." Additionally, like many children, I used to eagerly help my mother in the kitchen, which further nurtured my passion for cooking.
Initial reactions from family and close ones on learning your decision of choosing this as a career?
Despite coming from a family of doctors, engineers, and individuals with a defence background, when I expressed my desire to become a chef, my family agreed to support me wholeheartedly. However, they made it clear that I would have to navigate this path on my own since no one in the family could provide guidance in this field. This challenge only fueled my determination to never back down. The support of my family has been invaluable throughout my journey. To this day, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the sparkle in the eyes of my loved ones, or anyone for that matter, when they learn about my chosen path as a chef.
What do you consider a milestone in your career?
Relocating to Jaipur in 2018 has been one of the significant milestones in my career. The city itself presents a unique challenge as it constantly demands excellence. The people of Jaipur have a discerning taste for food, and catering to their preferences pushes me to deliver the best culinary experiences. Moreover, Jaipur attracts guests from all corners of India and around the world, which challenges you to meet diverse expectations.
Some high-points and low-points of your career?
There have been both high-points and low-points that have shaped my journey as a chef. One of the significant high-points was achieving the position of Executive Chef in 2018, and the other is heading the Culinary Brigade at Fairmont.
COVID-19 pandemic, was a challenging time for all of us and it significantly affected the hospitality industry. Despite the difficulties faced during this time, I believe that it has also served as a valuable learning experience for the entire industry.
What is it about Pas Asian and western food moves you the most?
Pan Asian cuisine is all about fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and dynamic cooking techniques, while western food, such as Spanish, Italian, and Mexican cuisine, masterfully transforms raw ingredients into incredible dishes through its distinctive cooking techniques.
How do you receive compliments as well as criticism?
It is through the collective efforts of dedicated and determined teams that we are able to create exceptional dishes worthy of compliments, whether it's a grand wedding buffet or a single plate. The hard work and commitment of chefs, stewards, and others contribute to the success of each dish. I firmly believe that criticism provides valuable feedback for improvement, and it is crucial to embrace it positively. Taste is a subjective experience, and as a chef, it is important to welcome all kinds of feedback to continuously pursue culinary excellence.
Who do you consider your role model, if any? And why?
I would undoubtedly choose Chef Marco Pierre White as my role model. Although I have never met him in person, he will always be the Number 1 Chef for me. His cooking technique, the way he talks about food, the dining operations and people is completely mesmerizing!
“Great chefs have three things in common: first, they accept and respect mother nature as a true artist; second, everything they do is an extension of them as a true person; and third, they give you insight into the world they were born into.” ― Marco Pierre White
How do you handle the stress that has become a synonym for kitchen operations?
Hahaha, rightly asked. Kitchen operations can be very stressful at times, but I believe that maintaining a calm and composed demeanor while thinking clearly is crucial. As a Chef, it is essential to multitask, understand the guests' needs, ensure consistency, foster creativity, and collaborate effectively with teams. I have learnt that mental resilience is paramount and that cooking food, especially for a large number of people is not “खायची गोष्ट”
What drives you every day to work?
The joy of seeing guests enjoying our meal, interacting with my team members and creating memorable dining experiences are some of the things I look forward to every day. There may be days when things don't go as planned, I find solace in the kitchen. Cooking up a comforting risotto, a flavorful stir fry, or even a simple egg preparation brings me inner peace, especially when preparing breakfast dishes.
What are your views about lost Indian recipes?
Indian cuisine boasts an incredible array of recipes, cooking techniques, and unique ingredients. Over time, a few dishes have even become exotic like the Chakki ki Subzi, Bamboo Biryani, Parinde mein Parinda, Khaad Raan or my personal favorite Dadpe Pohe. At Fairmont Jaipur, we embrace the opportunity to reintroduce these preparations upon special requests, allowing our guests to experience the authentic flavors of these dishes.
Do you feel that Indian cuisine has got its right place on the stage of international cuisine?
Indian cuisine has undoubtedly earned its rightful place on the international stage of culinary delights. It is evident from the multitude of Indian restaurants across the globe and the enthusiasm of travelers seeking authentic Indian food experiences.
How do you consider Rajasthani cuisine?
Having spent more than 5 years in Rajasthan, I find Rajasthani cuisine to be very elaborate and intriguing. It offers a wide range of dishes, from royal delicacies that evoke the grandeur of kings and queens, such as Ghevar, Ker Kaju Dakh, and Mohan Maas, to comforting homestyle preparations like Gavar Fali ki Subzi, Mirch ke Tapore, and Bejad ki Roti. The vibrant street food culture of Rajasthan also offers irresistible delights like Mirchi Wada and Pyaaz Kachori. Additionally, Rajasthani cuisine is renowned for its delectable pickles, which we proudly prepare at Fairmont Jaipur during our special Pickle Mixing Ceremony held on Mother's Day Brunch.
Recipe by Mihir Kane
280 g Lamb Shank
20 g fresh garlic pods
10 g deggi mirch
25 g ginger
15 g salt
500 ml Lamb stock
10 g garam Masala
100 ml Ghee
10 Mathania Chilies
20 g green Corinder
5 g Black Peppercorn
5 g Turmeric powder
5 g Mace
2 g Star Anise
50 ml Curd
Method: Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan, add crushed garlic cloves, dry red chilies and whole spices leave for a while. Sauté lamb for 3-4 minutes on high heat to seal the meat's internal juices, then add powdered spices mixed well with the meat. Add Lamb stock, Chilli and beaten curd, simmer the heat to low, and cook for an hour, or until lamb is nicely tender. Serve hot with bejad ki roti
Chakki Ki Subzi
200 gm Wheat
10 g Ginger
10 g Garlic
10g Green Chilies
2 Bay Leaf
60 g Tomato
50 ml Curd
5 g Turmeric powder
5 g Deggi Mirch
10 g Coriander powder
10 g Salt
5 g Garam Masala
50 ml Vegetable oil
2 g Cumin Seeds
1 pinch Hing
2 g Kasuri Methi
2 g Carom Seeds
2 g Cinnamon
2 g Cloves
Method: Prepare soft dough like roti and leave it for a while, next, soak the dough in water and keep squashing the dough until all the husk is out, collect all the gluten part that remains on the sieve, add turmeric powder to it. Roll out the gluten, cut into equal size cubes and blanch them in boiling water. Once boiled, transfer them on a kitchen towel and pat dry. Now heat oil in a kadhai and fry the cubes till golden brown. In another vessel, heat oil and add tempering of hing, jeera and bay leaf. Add ginger paste (optional) and saute. Then add the masala curd (curd mixed with powdered spices) to it and stir fry it. Cook the curd gravy till the oil layer leaves its sides. Adjust the gravy consistency by adding water. Add the fried chakki pieces to it and let it cook covered on a medium flame for 5-6 mins. Serve Hot with your choice of Indian bread.