I trained in the prestigious Maurya Sheraton Group in New Delhi India in the early eighties where I also had first hand training from my Uncle and Master Chef, Imtiaz Khan Qureshi. After a short stint in the Middle East I arrived in Australia in the early nighties where I worked as the Head Chef at the famous Sandos Indian Restaurant in Brunswick, Melbourne, when there were only a handful of Indian Restaurants. I then moved onto Milan in Kew where I was awarded best Indian Chef by the Pathak Group of UK for Australia wide.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Yes, ever since I was a young kid. I used to help make basic food with Mum and recreate the things I was advised on and saw. It wasn’t until my early teens that I saw the possibility of what an Indian ‘kitchen’ could offer. At 18, I started formal training beginning with the lowest category of jobs before learning all of the skills of the trade and just knew that one day I’d be a good Chef. Learning throughout the years from different Chefs with different techniques, I have come to understand the interpretations of food in general following the traditions of true Indian flavours.
How would you define your style?
In the traditions of the legendary Chefs from the times of Mughal Emperors of India.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Eggplant for the vegetarians and Goat meat for the non-vegetarians.
Obsessive compulsive about?
As the old saying goes “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Your greatest culinary inspirations?
Simply the one and only Indian Master Chef – my uncle, Imtiaz Khan Qureshi.
What do you love about this business?
I love that feeling after a busy service when you know every plate of food has gone out to the customer as perfect as it can be and everyone has left happy. It’s almost like an addiction.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
The entire group of different types of spices. The highlight of Indian cuisine is the subtlety and the power of each spice whether it is whole or grounded. Indian is a food but the use of selected spice makes it magical.
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
Chilli Baby Corn – a fusion of Indo-Chinese creation.
Lazeez Pasli. This is a rack of marinated lamb with spices, served with pan-fried potatoes and mushrooms.