Chef Abhijeet Bagwe aims to bring an all-new flavor profile to the Indian market.
Chef Abhijeet Bagwe who sees a fourteen years culinary experience has joined W Goa as the Executive Chef. Bagwe loves to experimenting with standard ingredients to morph them into unique and exciting flavor profiles that surprise guests with every bite. Also, his passion for painting has allowed me to curate aesthetically appealing dishes with the perfect blend of flavors. W Goa is known for boldly coloring outside the lines of the ordinary, making it the ideal fit for him to explore his true potential in curating all-new culinary inventions. Chef clearly aims at to bringing his international expertise and skills that he developed over the past 2 years in Uganda to bring an all-new flavor profile to the Indian market.
What was the one driving factor behind you becoming a chef?
Ever since I was a child, I was very inquisitive about cooking. My brother and I, who is also a Chef, would often help my mother in the kitchen and experiment with different ingredients. Seeing the creative opportunities that my brother was presented with, I too became inspired to become a Chef myself.
Fusion food is gaining a lot of attention. What is your idea of Fusion food and what has been your best creation?
I’m actually extremely fond of the concept of fusion food. It allows you to explore contrasts of flavors and textures. I love experimenting with traditional Goan dishes to give them a contemporary touch. Some examples include Prawns Balchao with Moilee Espuma and Solkadhi Cavia.
When conceptualising a new project what are the few things that you always take care of?
Identifying the team and each person’s responsibilities is a must. Only then can you leverage their skills to conceptualize the best outcome. As a leader, it is very important to define the roles and delegate smartly.
In a time where there is so much food waste, what are your methods to reduce it?
Good quality ingredients is key to ensure as little wastage as possible. At W Goa, we also believe strongly in upcycling food to make maximum usage of every product. For example, we’ll fillet the fish for one of our menu items, while using the bones to make stock for a separate soup. The remaining waste? We’ll usually compost it to improve the soil, which in turn improves the produce.
What is that one food trend that’s gonna rule 2022?
Sustainable, plant-based diets have been on the rise in recent years. This eco-friendly trend is going to gain more momentum in 2022 as consumers continue to look for healthier, cleaner options. In fact, at W Goa we are in the midst of creating exciting dishes consisting of Superfoods and detox beverages for those looking for a restorative getaway.
What’s your fondest food memory?
Honestly, any time a guest walks out of my restaurant with a smile on their face or comes up to me to appreciate the food is an extremely cherished memory for me. One specific incident that is very dear to me – I was making Ceviche, which is a traditional Peruvian dish for Peruvian ambassadors which is evidently a huge challenge in itself. I was pleasantly surprised when they stood up and started applauding and telling me how much they enjoyed it. A Peru dish approved by Peruvians, that’s got to be the ultimate stamp of approval.
Name three kitchen spices that you can’t do without
That’s a tricky one since every spice has such a varied flavor profile. But if I had to choose, it would be 1) cinnamon – especially for my morning bakery goods, 2) saffron – as it plays on all the senses by instantly enhancing the flavor, color and aroma of a dish, 3) cardamom – for its intensity.
As a chef, what do you feel is the biggest strength as a chef?
A chef has the power to uplift people’s mood and bring a smile on their face. It is a field that allows people to explore and understand different cultures through the art of cooking. I myself have been a Chef in different parts of India and the world, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Uganda and Italy, and feel the kind of emotions and culture you can convey through food is a language of its own.