Take home a chef

Aug 10, 2014, 05:47 IST | Moeena Halim

The Hopping Chef, an online portal launching soon, will allow you to sign up a chef to cook up a storm in your kitchen

it's a sort of luxury to have an internationally-trained chef whip up a set of signature dishes right out of your kitchen, and being able to savour the carefully-plated culinary wonders from the comfort of your living room.

Co-founder of Hopping Chef, Shaival Chandra, with chef Aditi Keni. Pics/Emmanual Karbhari
Co-founder of Hopping Chef, Shaival Chandra, with chef Aditi Keni. Pics/Emmanual Karbhari

That’s the experience Shaival Chandra and his partners Dhaval Udeshi and Sid Ugrankar are hoping to provide with Hopping Chef. Their online portal, due to go live in September, will allow you to pick a chef according to her or his sets of menus, check when they’re free, and book them for your next event. “If there’s something you want customised, you can consult the chefs, talk to them about your preferences and s/he will tailor a menu for you,” explains Chandra, describing their premium menus, which will be priced higher than the starting range of Rs 3,000 per head.

Egyptian Roast Lamb by Chef Aditi Keni
Egyptian Roast Lamb by Chef Aditi Keni

The aim is to have a repertoire of chefs covering nearly 30 different cuisines, but Chandra isn’t revealing any names yet. “We’re being nitpicky about the chefs we’re selecting,” he assures us. In the meantime, their in-house executive chef Aditi Keni, who has previously worked at Vancouver’s premier restaurant West, has designed five to seven course menus ranging from French to Mexican styles.

Going glocal
For Keni, ingredients are the king. “We’re planning glocalised menus. We will cook global cuisines using local products. Let’s take the Mexican succotash for instance; we’d use local veggies such as tondli, star gourd, snake beans rather than zucchini or peppers. For mole, the vanilla and chocolate will be sourced from Ooty or Pondicherry and not imported,” she reveals.

Keeping the health conscious in mind, Ayurvedic medicinal menus are also in the pipeline, adds the chef. A breakfast-for-dinner menu is all set to excite customers, considering it is not something you find at a restaurant. “There’ll be eggs, bacons, waffles, pancakes; the works,” says Keni. For each cuisine, the chef and his/her team will bring along a ‘Hopping Chef Kit’, which includes essential equipment. “Asian cuisine might require a wok or a skittle, for example, and there’s no need to worry if you don’t have these in your kitchen,” adds Chandra.

Quality and creativity
Chandra, who defines himself as a ‘foodie’, is hoping to raise the bar of the quality of food we are served in the country. “I lived in the US for 13 years and grew used to eating the best quality food. The first thing I realised when I returned was that even though we have a lot of restaurants, there’s a dearth of excellence,” says the enthusiastic entrepreneur.

Debuting with Mumbai, the venture will be taken to Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore next. With the number of foodies in these cities growing by the day, what patrons will enjoy most is the chance to interact with and learn from the chef. And it works vice versa too. “I’m looking forward to getting direct feedback from patrons about the creative choices I will be making,” offers Keni.

For inquiries or bookings, Call 18001213123 or 9819998900

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