It won’t be wrong to call Manish Mehrotra THE ICON of the culinary world. Manish, who currently the Corporate Chef, Indian Accent Restaurants (New Delhi. New York), the fine-dining award-winning restaurant, has been a significant gamechanger in putting Indian cuisine on the world map. Born in one of India’s famous city Patna, he grew up in a large family and do you know he still craves every winter for Gajar ka halwa. Mehrotra who went to Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai, says his food is Indian but with an International accent. His restaurant Indian Accent has won the Best Restaurant in India award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, the list published by UK-based William Reed Business Media, seventh time in a row. Manish is much passionate about his craft; his knowledge of ingredients and their origins is immense. His innovative tasting menus has been trend setting in giving Indian cuisine a new look, feel and taste with all global ingredients and techniques. 

What is you take on the way Indian food is marking its presence in the west?

Indian Cuisine is definitely making a mark. It’s no more about spices and curries only. People are discovering various Indian flavours, they are willing to explore. We are happy to be taking Indian Accent to a global platform. 

Your USP has been creative modern Indian dishes. Which dish on the menu really reflects Manish Mehrotra’s food story in real sense?

That’s a tough one. All dishes showcase inventive Indian cuisine by complementing the flavours and traditions of India with global ingredients and techniques. All of them are Indian Accent. All of them are Manish Mehrotra. 

What do you think a diner comes back to the restaurant for part form food?

It’s not about food anymore. It’s about the whole experience. People go to restaurants for experience and definitely good food is really part of the experience but not the whole experience. The way dishes are served, the way they are presented, the way waiter tells the dish, the different types of pairings your bar programs. All these things are very important and the diner always comes back for a great experience.

Which is one of the most over rated dish?

I don't think any dish is overrated or underrated. There are many dishes which become very popular but they are not is as good as others which are not popular so for me butter chicken is a very very popular dish. It's a very famous dish but I don't say it is overrated. But same way fish moilee is not very popular but it is as good as butter chicken.

Shisho patta, yoghurt, tamarind chili


What trick and brainstorming goes when it comes to designing a new flavour or a menu?

My kitchen is quite democratic Kitchen. When I come up with the idea, I put my ideas in front of the team and then we discuss about it. We prepare the dish, several trials happen till we perfect it. 

I always welcome ideas from my team, and sometimes they come up with fantastic ideas and which goes a long way. I also do a lot of research. I study a lot. Before deciding the dish – one of the basic things I think is - if I am sitting in my restaurant whether I will be ready to pay that price for that dish and eat it happily, that's the question we have to answer and if that question is answered the dish is successful

What was your mantra to survive the lockdown?

This too shall get over! But what can we learn from it? How can we make most of it! My mantra of surviving lockdown is to save, be more cost effective and get more productivity. Make sure you save as much as you can without hampering the quality. Make sure you are cost effective not only in food but entire restaurant operations. Wherever you can save without affecting the quality you should save. Your manpower should be more productive and more multifunctional that is very important and finally take care of your team. That is very very important, their mental health, their physical health is very important for the future of the restaurant.

Tuna Bhel Ceviche, Lime Cream, Crushed Kurkure


What is that one food trend that’s gonna rule 2022?

In 2022 the trend will be high end, fine dining. It will be back with a vengeance. Last couple of years it’s been about casual dining, deliveries and take aways but now with pandemic hopefully ending soon (fingers crossed), fine din concepts should be back. I also feel refined cuisines will be more popular and people will indulge in them. 

What’s your fondest food memory?

Well there are several - from the childhood, when I was a student chef, when I was a junior chef and when I became chef at Indian Accent there are many many of them. 

One of the naughtiest and the fondest one was - eating eggs on my terrace, hiding from everyone as a child. Because eggs were not allowed in our kitchen (it was a no onion, no garlic kitchen) and that was fun! Before going to school, dressed in the uniform, bag hanging on the shoulder and eating eggs - so my grandmother cannot see me. Eat it quickly and run to school.