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In Conversation With Michelin Chef Rohit Ghai
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In Conversation With Michelin Chef Rohit Ghai

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Updated: 24 November 2016
Rohit Ghai is the Group Executive Chef of the Sethi family’s Indian restaurants, which include Trishna, and Gymkhana in London. We spoke to the Michelin chef to hear about his inspirations, his recommendations, and his earliest food memory.

1. What are the most challenging parts of looking after two Michelin star kitchens?

There are many challenges that come with looking after just one kitchen, let alone two. However, I work closely with both teams at Trishna and Gymkhana so most of the challenges are taken on and resolved by all members of the team. These challenges also become the most rewarding when they are managed quickly. If I had to name the biggest challenge overall, it would have to be time. Sometimes it’s a matter of wanting to be physically present in both kitchens and having to choose one depending on the night, event or guests.

2. How do you manage to make Michelin starred food accessible for a lower budget?

Our lunch menu, available all week, offers diners a taste of our signature dishes at an accessible price point. The Express Menu is particularly good value, guests can enjoy two courses from a set menu served with either a refreshing Cobra beer, glass of wine or a sweet or salty lassi.

3. What are your favourite budget eats in London?

One of my favourite restaurants is Bao which has recently opened in Soho and is my new favourite. It is a small Taiwanese restaurant which typically takes residency at Netil Market in Hackney. Although it focuses on Bao buns the rest of the menu uses unique and interesting ingredients at really reasonable prices.

4. Where do you go for the best South Asian food in London?

Umami London, the newest addition to the Kensington restaurant scene. It is a mix of Thai and Malaysian cuisine. I really enjoy the roti canai and chicken satay.

5. What inspired you to become a chef?

I decided to be a chef when I was in school as a child. My main inspirations were my parents who have always supported me in every way.

6. What top tip would you give aspiring young chefs?

Having a passion to cook is the best tip. Success in the kitchen often comes from curiosity and experimentation so having a passion for cooking often lends itself to skill eventually. It’s not a methodical thing where you just pick up the pan and cook and someone directs you on how to complete every step. The best meals come from cooking with heart and soul.

7. What is your earliest food memory?

It has to be my mother making white butter which I used to eat with almost everything as a child. I would pair it with paratha, mix with lentils, and add to sarson ka saag.