Chef Gaurav Anand On Food Trends, Secret Ingredients And More
Image Credit: Image: Hilton Garden Inn Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park

The hospitality sector is changing rapidly and so are the trends. The innovations that are being made in the hotel and restaurant business these days are noteworthy. From gastronomic wonders to technologically advanced machinery in the kitchen, the restaurant sector has it all. And then comes the creativity in the kitchen that is at the helm of the chefs. From the inception of the restaurant to its success, it is the chef who makes sure all of it goes smoothly. As Hilton Garden Inn Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park launches interesting new age restaurants – F5 and Tech Tonic, we got their Executive Chef Gaurav Anand for a quick chat about food trends, vibrant cuisines, kitchen tips, etc.  

1. In the time of rapid changes in food trends, what according to you is a food trend that is here to stay? 

The golden rule that good food is created from good ingredients cooked with care will always be timeless and in vogue. At the Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn Bengaluru, our food philosophy is food thoughtfully sourced and carefully served. We focus on responsibly sourcing seasonal fresh organic produce and ingredients from our producer partners on a daily basis and keep our menu such that we are able to serve a great meal experience that is not just tasty but clean and truly a farm to plate experience. Good food in my opinion is one that makes you feel satiated at the end of the meal but the memory is always fresh. 

2. Which cuisine according to you is one of the most vibrant at F5 and why? 

F5 is an extensive global menu that focuses on comfort and quality and also something for every taste. So, every item on the menu is an experience by itself. For example, at breakfast, you can get a wholesome sattu paratha and homemade butter with fresh yogurt and salad. Not your typical hotel buffet items of toast, eggs, and cereal. Another example of an exciting dish would be our sourdough pizza. It has been one of the most popular dishes with our guests. I think it is because there is so much versatility to the dish which you don’t associate with a regular pizza. The fermentation process lends a great texture to the base apart from a unique flavour. Also, the health benefits of sourdough over a regular pizza base. So, at F5 it is not about one dish but more about versatile experiences that each dish brings as there is something for everyone and a meal by itself. 

3. 5 Things one should always have in their kitchen

Fresh ingredients, accessible kitchen, accessibility to organic vegetables, and basic equipment to cook. Last but not least, a good team with a great attitude is the biggest asset more than anything else. No matter how small or big the kitchen may be, attitude towards it makes the difference. 

4. Most difficult cuisine to work with according to you. 

I have a team of young and committed chefs who each have a unique specialization. Right from authentic Punjabi food to Modern Asian plating. This has helped us create a menu that plays to the strengths of our team, after researching what the market wants, needs, and definitely does not need more. So, this approach really helps as we have been able to preserve authenticity for traditional dishes and add that “it” factor to our contemporary creations. 

5. Most treasured compliment for your cooking 

One of the most treasured compliments which I have got from one of my esteemed guests was that after the meal experience they said that “it reminded them of the food from their home”. Getting this kind of feedback actually makes my day and the tiredness of a long day is magically sorted! 

6. Secret kitchen ingredients that can turn a dish around – 

Fresh herbs, the right kind of cooking oil to suit the dish, and fresh ingredients. I fondly recall what my mentor whom we used to affectionately address as guruji firmly believed in. He always said aag (fire), paani(water), namak(salt), and mircha(spice) in optimal proportion is really what makes a dish come alive! 

7. What makes F5 and Tech Tonic stand out? 

Ambience, the menu, and the team. 

8. A piece of advice for budding chefs 

Focus on learning and trying new techniques, working with different ingredients and cuisines irrespective of what your favorite cuisine may be in the initial years. It takes a lot of focus, commitment and determination to evolve as a chef. It is part art, part business, and a whole lot of passion, and discipline. The best thing about being a chef is that you can discover new ways to make a dish every day and give it your twist. So being open to new ideas and fearless to push boundaries of creativity is key