World Culinarian Day
We sat down with our Executive Chef Deepesh Jose to ask some questions about him, his craft and to gain insights into the life of a chef and his creative journey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Deepesh, and I have worked in the hospitality industry since 2004. I started as a trainee and have continuously progressed through the ranks, working with fantastic and inspiring teams of chefs who have dramatically expanded and influenced my culinary development. I have worked with a couple of different resorts here in the Maldives until finally, until I joined InterContinental Maldives in 2019 as part of the pre-opening team as Executive Sous Chef. Now I am Executive Chef here and happy to be part of this amazing culinary team.
Why are you so passionate about being a chef?
I believe chefs are artists, and to make great art come to life, you need to be passionate and dedicated and be open to experimenting and taking risks. Cooking allows me to express my creativity and display a unique culinary style. I enjoy conceptualizing new dishes, experimenting with flavours, and presenting food as an art form.
I pride myself in seeing my creations bring joy and delight to guests. Food brings people together, and while not everyone has the same taste, the options are endless, and everybody needs to eat. It's one of the few things we all have in common.
How do you think the culinary world has evolved over the past few years?
A notable trend is the increasing popularity of plant-based and alternative protein choices, with more individuals adopting vegetarian, vegan, or flexitarian diets. There has also been a greater focus on sourcing sustainable ingredients and reducing food wastage. Sustainability is a big focus for us, and we are working closely with our local and international suppliers to improve the sourcing and shipping of goods. IHG has a strict regimen for food waste, so we are working hard to stay on top of the requirements, which is challenging in such a remote destination. It is great, though, as you can see the improvements along the way.
Do you follow the current trends in food? What kind of trends excite you the most?
An exciting trend in the culinary world is the fusion of different cuisines. Chefs blend techniques and flavours from various culinary traditions to create unique and innovative dishes. This allows for the exploration of new taste combinations and the discovery of exciting flavours.
Another fascinating trend is the use of technology, such as molecular gastronomy techniques or the development of plant-based alternatives that closely mimic meat products.
The theme 'growing a healthier future', what does it mean to you and how do you feel this impacts your work in such a remote place?
The theme of "Growing a healthy future" is deeply meaningful as it represents a joint effort towards creating a sustainable and nurturing future for us, our communities, and the planet.
Even in isolated areas, promoting a healthy future can have a significant impact by encouraging awareness and understanding of sustainable practices, healthy living, and environmental responsibility.
I encourage conversations and facilitate the exchange of ideas on various topics, such as eco-friendly cooking, sustainable food sourcing, and reducing food waste. My aim is to inspire individuals to take action, regardless of their location.
Lastly, what is your best advice for a new chef starting in the industry?
Always be open to learning and growing in the culinary world, as it is vast.
Dare to be bold and think outside the box, developing your unique culinary style. Encourage yourself to push boundaries and explore new combinations. Remember, the culinary journey is an ongoing process, so enjoy the experience, stay passionate about your craft, and let your love for food guide you on an exciting and fulfilling career path.