Exclusive Interview With Chef Thayanithy On Expectations From Food Products

B Swaminathan (publisherchefbharath@gmail.com)

Chef Thayanithy is Sous Chef at the Signature Club Resort. He has over 14 years of culinary experience with a penchant for gastronomical experiments. His passion for great food has only made him a thorough individual who understands food and customer’s appetite; cooking wholesome, healthy and well-presented meals, which are the two most important ingredients of a successful chef.

Prior to joining Signature Club Resort, he was associated with leading hotels and brands such as Orange County Resort, Black Thunder Resort to name a few. Additionally, he has also served as an executive chef in ‘DFAC B6.2 T-IRAQ’ and Head Chef in C3PO International Foodservice in Afghanistan. His experience of serving the US troops in the Middle-East makes Afghani and Middle Eastern cuisine his forte.

In an interaction with Chef Bharath, Chef Thayanithy, Sous Chef at Signature Club Resort, speaks on the latest trends and eating formats.

Which are the most important occupational issues faced by Indian Chefs in terms of delivering quality food?

In terms of delivering quality food, Indian chefs are not following standardized recipes. Chefs are mostly overloaded with additional roles and responsibilities such as ensuring the taste is consistent, hygiene, time and many other subsidiary operations that go on in the kitchen. Another worrying factor is that the culinary team second in line are not trained properly in maintaining consistency.

According to you, what are the ways, the key trends you notice in the food consumption factors among the eaters in recent days?

Although people have been health conscious for quite some time now in recent times, it has only become more prevalent. People have prioritized their food and lifestyle activities around health and fitness, hence look for dishes that meet their requirements. They are preferring more organic and healthy foods, nowadays some people are even converting into vegans. Not just that, Live Cooking has become a trend these days. For one gets to see the food being prepared that is fresh and is done in a hygienic environment.

 What are the unique aspects of your kitchen and what are the efforts you take to ensure the guest is consuming quality food?

It’s a practice to ensure every dish cooked at the kitchen meets and goes through certain standard practices, which I have captured below.

  • Separate cooking and mise en place areas of veg & non-veg
  • Color-coded cutting boards & knives
  • Proper and updated food labeling systems
  • FIFO system implemented
  • Regular health checkups for food handlers
  • Adhere to stern hygiene and personal grooming standards

 How you see the constant fluctuation of the price of food materials and how are you ensuring it does not impact the quality of the food?

We engage with our vendors on a yearly basis, our agreements with them are for one full year. Given the practice, should there be fluctuations during the year, we make sure we get consistently quality raw materials at all times ensuring there is less or no impact on the quality.

What are the top qualities you expect from a food product company while using it for your dishes?

Following are the important criteria that we take into consideration;

  • Freshly packed & sealed as per industry norms and terms
  • Manufacturing date to be clearly mentioned on the packet
  • In the case of frozen foods, proper delivery standards to be maintained.
  • In case of any permitted preservatives added, proper certificate and proper food grade code to be mentioned in the labels.

What are the plans you have in terms of new menu items?

  • We did a thorough menu engineering by extracting the last six months’ data on what dishes have been popular and vice versa and have come up with a new menu by adding guest favorites and done away with the ones’ that met with an underwhelming response.  We have also included a lot of fusion food in order to please the palate of every customer, several live cooking counters have also been introduced in order to provide fresh and instant choices for our guests.

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