From the clinic to the kitchen

Apr 26, 2013, 00:09 IST | Avantika Patil

Six months of medical college is what it took Chef Justine Parras to find his calling. Justine mastered the art of cooking at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, after being thrown out of the medical college.

Doing a live kitchen demo at a leading food chain outlet, Justine who grew up in the Philippines, spoke to CS about his love for food, cooking and his adventure with different cuisines:

Justine Parras
Pics/ Satyajit Desai

Passion for food
Being passionate about food was something that came to me naturally. Weekends would be a cooking fest in my house but no one in my house had thought I would become a chef one day. After dropping out of my pre-medical exam I went to visit my friend in Wales University and that’s when I was introduced to culinary studies.

Grandma’s kitchen
When I announced to my parents that I wanted to become a chef, they weren’t really very supportive. My dad is a lawyer and mother is a nurse. They kept wondering where this chef bit came up from (chuckles). But little did they know that those weekend family get-togethers and grandma’s kitchen is what got me into cooking.

Food for thought
Food is one factor that brings everyone together and that is the truth of my profession. Food is one thing that everyone has to eat everyday and is one topic that people don’t disagree on. And that’s the reason why I decided to be a chef and be a part of the industry which won’t shut down no matter what (winks).

Bon appetite
My favourite cuisine apart from the one in my homeland is Chinese. Chinese is one cuisine that interests me because of the use of their flavours and its intricate ways of cooking. My favourite dish is roasted duck because it’s the most complicated dish I have ever come across. And it’s my dream to make a perfect roasted duck one day. Apart from that, in Indian cuisine I like paneer and Bhejafry; I just can’t get over them. 

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