Kuldip Singh, Executive Chef of Country Inn and Suites, Panjim, Goa
Name : Kuldip Singh
Age : 44 Yrs.
Designation : Executive Chef
Name of the Hotel :Country Inn and Suites, Panjim,Goa(A Unit of Attire Hotels and Resorts Pvt. Ltd.)
Duration of Career : 20 Years
As a kid Mr. Singh was very attracted to five star hotels but due to the cliché about hotel industry that existed at that point of time it was difficult to get into it. It was his dream to go inside a hotel and see how it looked and what was inside. After graduation he joined Government food science training centre, department of horticulture hills and completed his cookery course and started his career at Le Meridien New Delhi, training with Chef Devendra Kumar. He would help his mother to cook at home and sometimes when his parents would go out, he would cook for his younger siblings. As kid he used to hate vegetables. He loved chicken. He wanted to get into a profession where he would get to eat chicken and mutton every day. So hospitality was the best. While undergoing his training, he realised that this is the place where he wants to make his career.
He expresses that, in the hospitality industry, like in any other industry, without hard work and dedication one wont get anything. Nobody is a born a chef. You have to train yourself and make a target where you want to be as it will require your full dedication and time. The initial 2-3 years is very difficult but if you sustain those years then there is no looking back.
He faced his biggest challenge when he moved to a passenger ship. He started his career into A La Carte plating. When he moved to the passenger ship, the capacity was 5000 and all of a sudden, from plating around 15 or 20 or even 50 plates in a day, he was plating 600 plates in 45 minutes. Further catering for 2000 or 5000 Pax at one go. But this entire experience was tackled easily through proper planning and maintaining and setting a cool mind.
When it comes to the day to day challenges, Mr. Singh points out that the palate of each and every guest is different. For them that is the challenge, to be very cool, to cater to all kinds of guests. Chefs work under tremendous pressures. There are times when all of a sudden you have a banquet function and you need to cater to them. You just need to have a cool mind to handle the pressure.
He advices junior chefs to be very cool minded, not to be aggressive at all, focused to their targets and the path to achieve those targets. They should have a vision, mission and how to reach their target.
When asked about his key failure in this career he said, “I wouldn’t say I had any failure. But yes, there was a learning happening every time. We learn from our mistakes. So yes there were mistakes but it was a learning process. And still there are a lot of things that have to be learnt. There is no end to culinary.”
Hard work and dedication is his secret to success.
Mr. Singh keeps himself updated about new recipes through social media. There are a lot of culinary programs coming on the channels and you get ideas on those channels. He adds, “After being a part of this industry for so many years, you are a master for yourself, you yourself are a guest for yourself. The decisions that one takes must be on the right path. While taking a decision he puts himself in the guests shoes and makes those decisions.”
Mr. Singh looks forward to open a restaurant of his own wherein the local recipes will be used with modern plating and modern presentation. That is his dream.
In order to enhance Guest experience, the only best thing that one can do is talk to all the guests, each and every guest, and take their feedback. You need to cater according to their palates which are a challenge in itself. But again nothing is impossible, it is possible and can be done. Business is one thing but making relations with your guests is another. But here what we do is when the guests come to them, they make relations with them.
“We make relations and the business automatically comes to us.”