When Indian Cuisine Gets An International Twist, Magic Happens

Interview by Saif Haddad

4 min read

Gueridon service and Indian cuisine are not two terms that you expect to exist in one place. But Chef Himanshu Sinai, a relatively young chef from Delhi, is making his mark in the United Arab Emirates with constant innovation in hopes of changing the perception of Indian cuisine. Today, with cultures being so intertwined and exposure to the wonders of the world is easier than ever, it is no wonder that artists and chefs are blurring the lines between local and international.

As corporate chef for Passion F & B, Chef Himanshu oversees the kitchens of Trésind and Carnival by Trésind where he hopes that his cooking style and philosophy create global acceptance of Indian cuisine.

Dining at Trésind allows you to experience the dishes with all five senses, not only with the finished products but by witnessing some of the dishes being made in front of you, you get the chance to emerge yourself in the process of cooking, smell and see the ingredients used, and witness the skill that goes into creating these special dishes, which allows you to develop a new kind of appreciation to the food you enjoy.

Chef Himanshu is considered one of the youngest tastemakers in Indian cuisine, he has to his credit numerous awards, which include PRO Chef ME for two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017 in addition to the Vermillion CookOff, India 2013 and many others.

During his early days as a chef, Sinai trained under the supervision of world-renowned chef Manish Mehrotra, who has many awards under his belt such as American Express Best Chef of the Year, and currently heads the kitchens of Indian Accent in New Delhi, Oriental Octopus, and Lavasa. In 2016, Indian Accent was awarded the S. Pellegrino Best Restaurant in India by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant for the second consecutive year.

Today, Chef Himanshu is honing the skills he picked up as a child from his mother, as a student of the renowned Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, and an apprentice of chef Mehrotra to create innovative dishes that he says will “elevate how we experience Indian Food.”

MOJEH Men spoke with Chef Himanshu to get a better understanding of his vision, philosophy, and to offer us some cooking tips for the culinary genius hidden inside of us.

MOJEH Men: Dining at Trésind is an engaging experience, customers use all five senses to experience the dishes. What was the inspiration behind this immersive experience?

Chef Himanshu: Well, the goal was to revive the concept of Gueridon service, in which, food is prepared and presented to guests at the table. We are the first Indian restaurant to provide this service, so it’s a unique experience for all! The table side service gives guests a glimpse into what happens in the kitchen and it also gives us chefs a chance to show off our skills! Dining at Trésind is not only interactive but also a very personalized experience for the diners.

MOJEH Men: How do you decide on what twists to add to your dishes?

Chef Himanshu: We have to be careful with how we change certain foods as sometimes adaptations and twists can remove traditional Indian flavours, which we certainly don’t want to do. That being said, we only give twists to a dish if it going to enhance the dish from its original form. We do multiple food trials and brainstorming sessions to decide what we can add to certain dishes, that will enhance them.

MOJEH Men: What are the dining habits of the GCC customer? And how important is a new experience to your customers?

Chef Himanshu: The GCC diners and our patrons are rice lovers! Also, they don’t eat things that are too spicy, which I can understand. They prefer not to eat raw fish and want their meats to be cooked well. A new experience is key, which is why we change things on the menu constantly. As a chef, I can’t help but want to better current dishes on the menu and make new ones!

MOJEH Men: How do you always maintain a level of interest and originality to keep bringing back patrons?
Chef Himanshu: We keep changing our menus by creating new dishes and adapting ones that are already there. Another key part of the Trésind experience is the high standard of service our staff deliver, which exceeds the guests’ expectations every time.

MOJEH Men: What do you look for when hiring chefs to work with you?
Chef Himanshu: Passion and a good attitude! If people have that, the rest will come in due time.

MOJEH Men: Was there anything else that you wanted to to do before becoming a chef?
Chef Himanshu: Funnily enough, I wanted to become a sports journalist, quite different from a chef I know.

MOJEH Men: What should every gentleman have in his kitchen?
Chef Himanshu: As a fine dining chef, most people will expect this answer. Butter.

MOJEH Men: What dishes should any man know how to cook?
Chef Himanshu: Khichdi. It’s a comfort dish and the recipe is very simple. On top of that, it is easy on the stomach.

MOJEH Men: Are there any tips and tricks that a gentleman can use in the kitchen to improve their cooking game?
Ha! That’s a great question and my answer will always be the same, keep it simple, cook often, and cook with love!

Trèsind is a blend of Très (the French word) meaning “very” and Ind, short for “India”, translating into Very Indian.

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