Chef Neeraj Tyagi On Constant Run For Innovation
Image Credit: Chef Neeraj Tyagi

With a vision to cultivate and maintain the finest of culinary operations, establish and enhance the dining standards, increase quality & productivity and ultimately guest satisfaction Chef Neeraj Tyagi, Director of Culinary at Pullman and Novotel New Delhi Aerocity has always believed in working to excel. At a dual property his responsibilities even double up. From curating and presenting innovative dishes with a distinctive twist, offering exquisite and modern gastronomy to guests Chef Neeraj has left no stone unturned. Being a travel enthusiast and explorer, chef has had a chance of exposure across international markets of Europe, Singapore, China, Maldives, and the Middle East, which he happily experimented and improvised in his cooking style with varied flavours that would suit the modern-day palate.

With the focus on back to roots how much do you think it’s going to become the trend?

By going back to the roots, we’re able to showcase our culture identity and mother nature in the modern world. The pandemic has taught us many things, one of them being the importance of developing a sustainable food culture, wherein local food, trends, lost recipes and culture come to the surface, and we definitely see this becoming a trend. This is a time when conversations around local, sustainable and organic food are taking place. Pullman and Novotel New Delhi has its own herb garden where we grow our fruits and vegetables that are used for cooking at all our restaurants. They are also on retail for customers to promote organic eating.

What has been your pandemic learning that you bought back to the kitchen?

Pandemic has been hard on everyone, and as chefs, we have learnt a lot. My biggest personal learning would be to shift the focus on developing a sustainable food culture, as it will be helpful in the future. 

Which has been by far your best culinary innovations?

Potato ravioli without any flour and sauce made out of potato water 

Tell us about your salt experiments and why you thought about it?

Salt is a very common, humble yet one of the most essential and crucial part of any food culture. My idea was to showcase various exotic, old, expensive salts to guests. How each and every salts are rare, taste different and can be used in various dishes to uplift the flavour and overall taste of the dish. 

How difficult or easy it is to satisfy such wide culinary palate of diners?

I believe in cooking from the heart, and when you cook honestly with love, care and passion, it is sure to bring a smile on the faces of your guests, no matter how varied their culinary palate may be. 

Tell us about your idea about opening your creative cloud kitchen space for seasoned professional chefs to come together to innovate, experiment and go beyond daily routines?

We believe in continuous research and development in the field of cuisine and because of that very reason, as chefs, we should keep on innovating and experimenting new things, revive old recipes, use modern techniques of cooking. It’s never ending and continuous work and our passion for food drives it. 

What has been your inspiration to this trade?

My mother has been my biggest inspiration. I always look up to her for living life with a smile and passion.

Who is your worst critic when it comes to food?

My ten-year-old daughter, who happens to be a young chef herself. She has already started baking some amazing cakes, and she is an avid follower of Masterchef Australia, where her favourite is Chef Michel Roux.