'Many of our dishes came from experiments in my own kitchen': Pradeep Negi

Many of our dishes came from experiments in my own kitchen: Pradeep Negi

Published: Fri 6 Sep 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 6 Sep 2019, 2:00 AM

Your favourite memory of food.
The homemade lamb curry we used to eat growing up, which was typically prepared by my father. I have spent much of my adult life trying to replicate this special dish, but I have never been able to capture the exact essence and recreate its magic.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
My job is extremely rewarding, as it gives me the unique opportunity to do what I love every day. It is not, however, without its challenges and the greatest challenge is the time it requires me to spend away from my family.
Do you have a personal mantra or motto that drives the way you cook food?
My personal mantra is to bring Indian cuisine to the forefront of contemporary dining in Dubai with a menu that is inspired by the bold regional flavours of my home country, while embracing modern culinary trends and concepts.
How often do you eat out? What's your favourite place in town?
I normally eat out about once a week, at restaurants that range from simple eateries in the city to some of the most high-end dining experiences available around town. This not only enhances my knowledge of what's new and what's trending within the F&B market, but it also introduces me to new flavours from around the world.
One of my favourite places in town is Aroos Damascus, a casual Arabic restaurant in Deira serving authentic food in a relaxed and comfortable setting. The food is cooked to perfection every time and never disappoints.
After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
Depending on how busy my day has been, I will either cook at home or go out. I often use my time at home to experiment with new ingredients or recipes and many of the dishes on the menu in the restaurant were originally created from experiments in my own kitchen.
Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
Chef Gordon Ramsay would be the one person I admire the most within the culinary world. Not only is he a very well-known public figure, he is also a chef with an incredible work ethic. He has great respect for the ingredients he uses and is always eager to continue his learning as a chef.
Favourite comfort food?
I love eggs. They are so versatile as an ingredient and are the basis for some of the most incredible dishes.
One ingredient or dish that you can't stand, and why.
There is no ingredient or dish that I don't like. Every ingredient is unique and can be used to match a specific palate.
If you could choose a last meal, what would you like it to be?
A lamb curry prepared solely by my father as my last meal.
Your all-time favourite culinary destination - and why?
It would have to be Old Delhi. I have many fond memories of my childhood spent there, journeying through the streets and enjoying some of the most versatile local delicacies available.
Where can we find you, when you're not in the kitchen?
When not in the kitchen, I love nothing more than being able to relax on my couch, enjoying a good series on Netflix with a cold drink in hand. I love my job, but being on my feet all day can get tiring, which is why I always appreciate being able to put my feet up when I have a moment.
- Staff reporter

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