With the development of new things and the change of perspective in millennial, food in today’s world is no more tagged as ‘just a thing of survival’ because food is that pristine form of art which can be served to make one happy.
Reacho got in conversation with chef Prasad Kulkarni, a renowned chef and proprietor of many food joints who has also arisen as a prominent face in many Maharashtrian food shows!
At what age did you decide to take cooking as a platform for your career?
At the age of 16, I thought of taking cooking as a career and it was my proclivity towards the art of making food that drew me towards this specific career.
From where have you pursued your education in the field of hospitality?
When I was in 11th and 12th standard, I did my MCVC vocational course from Maharashtra State Institute Of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, Pune. Later, I pursued higher diploma from Khandala Kohinoor-IMI School of Hospitality Management which is affiliated with Switzerland IMI institute. Further, I went on to pursue masters in Hospitality Management at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College.
What was the turning point of your career?
While I was in London pursuing my masters I also worked in a high-end hotel that had Michelin star bakers. After working so much for others I realized that I should do something for myself, as an entirely sole thing in the genre of food. That was the time which made me think about my own future plans and triggered me to starting something of my own. So I came back to India and went ahead to achieve the dream that I had then.
Taking your food venture ahead, what other future plans have you thought of?
I started off with Suvidha Tiffin Services where our main purpose was to deliver tiffin boxes; later we progressed to Suvidha catering services which was an event management company that served across Pune and Mumbai. Later, I opened two restaurants in Pune called Rendezvous and Mejwani and now we have our own company called Kulkarni Hospitality Services Pvt.Ltd.
With an aim to cater people of IT sector, we’ve now launched a food court called Foodeshwar in Embassy TechZone, Hinjewadi and soon we’ll also launch the other food court with the same name in World Trade Centre, Kharadi.
Right now I am also the member of the panel who is teamed up to design the syllabus of food production for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technical University, Maharashtra.
To spice up the conversation, even more, few rapid-fire questions were hurled at him:
1. What is the favourite thing that you love to cook the most?
A. Anything that has meat and cooked with wine or charcoal or wood
2. What cooked dish of yours is your favourite?
A. Khat khata (A vegetable stew made out of 22 different vegetables)
3. One favourite ingredient that you just love to put in almost every dish of yours?
4. What you think your forte lies in?
- Veg dishes – Non-veg dishes –Baking –Seafood
A. Non-vegetarian dishes and Baking
5. What is your comfort food?
A. Anything that has chicken it
6. One thing that you absolutely love to eat that is prepared by your mom and your wife.
Fansachi Bhaji (Jackfruit Bhaji) made by my mother
and Jhol Bhaji (A special dish prepared in the state of Madhya Pradesh)
7. How do you project yourself when you’re in the following situation?
Being a chef at your own setup workplace:
I am always focused and indulge in my work because the role I play at my workplace is of a chef and not of a proprietor.
Being a chef at a TV show:
If you’re facing the camera, you’ve to don the cap of an actor and work according to the guidelines of the director. So while cooking there I have to add some bit of acting elements to it.
Being a chef at home:
It’s too messy! My mom likes my cooking but she dislikes the mess that I do post cooking.
8. What is your favourite restaurant in Pune?
A. Tien and Vaishali
9. You have your sweet tooth for?