Nishesh Seth Executive Chef Le Meridien, Candolim-Goa

Mr. Nishesh Seth, who hails from Faridabad, was a commerce graduate but decided to enter the hospitality world on his father’s advice. So he cleared the entrance and graduated from IHM Mumbai, which is the one of the most coveted institutions in India. Thereafter he completed a Management Training Programme with Taj Hotels Resort which gave a boost to his career and helped him to grow in various senior managerial positions. He brings with him twelve years of culinary experience and expertise in managing operations, having worked in Indian and international chain of hotels like Taj, Shangri-La and so on. Presently he is associated with Le Meridien and is credited for his creativity and innovation in organising the five food and beverage outlets at the hotel. He is very passionate, hardworking, dedicated, fun-loving, creative and an enthusiastic human being. He is known for accommodating the guest’s requirements and creating outstanding dining experiences.

He has functioned effectively in various properties of the Taj, which has helped him learn about luxury. According to him, luxury is not about the materialistic things but it is all about the services. It is a sense, an emotion and a way of life which you can emote out to your guests.

As per his experience the biggest challenge in his profession, as a chef is –the quality of people. Of late Hotel management is a stepping ladder to get into a lucrative profession. People have changed their perception and have realised that hospitality industry is very rewarding and has a great scope rather than the conservative thought. In the initial part of his career, timing was a big challenge and it was engraved in them that job of a chef is as bad as an army job. There was no work –life balance. But gradually he realised that with the entry of many international companies, the times and ways of perceiving hospitality industry has changed .Also the HR department now works towards innovative ways to give a balanced work-life.

His advice to the chefs who want to make a career in the hospitality world is –hospitality industry is tuff. Do not expect a bed of roses. There is no short cut to hard work. Today’s youth feel that if are you educated, you will be paid well .But this perception is incorrect. According to him, in any profession, there is no reward without hard work. Today a chef is well educated, unlike those in the past who were thought of as, “maharajas”. Today a chef is an accountant, marketing manager, F&B, consultant and much more than just a chef.

Talking about the key secret to his success, Mr. Nishesh says that he is just like any other human being, but what keeps him going is he never gives up. From the beginning it was engraved in him that one should never give up, come what may. During his industrial training period, he wanted to give up due to the long working hours without any break or appreciation. He expected his mother to show some sympathy which was not shown to him. She advised him either to move on or quit which made him feel that his mother was heartless. But today he takes this opportunity to thank her from the bottom of his heart. So according to him, “Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success”.

As per his observation, most of the junior chefs are not hands on today and they don’t want to take pain. He advices them to think positively and don’t let the designation get into your head .He rightly quotes that there is no gain without pain. So junior sous chef and chefs should come down and actively take part in the kitchen and experience the pain and efforts to put forth a dish. He also advises them to respect each person at every level. Youngsters are forgetting the respect and emotions and are becoming like robots.

Mr. Nishesh believes that today’s world is highly influenced by the social media but we have to decide how much to indulge in such activities as overindulgence into anything is harmful. He says that keeping oneself updated is in your hands. He keeps himself updated about the latest recipes and happenings through social media, face book, etc. He is very much addicted to reading and also believes that reading enlightens him. He feels that you need to be disconnected from the social media while on duty and quotes that somebody’s urgency is not your priority. He believes that -A chef who says he knows everything is a biggest liar out there. He strongly believes that a chef keeps learning till he reaches his coffin. A chef’s profession entails wide knowledge which he has to acquire as there are many varied cuisines.

According to Mr. Seth the guest’s experiences were very simple earlier, but have been made complicated by the hospitality industry. He feels that today we are engrossed in our lives and have become robotic. He reveals that there is a need to go back to the basics of hospitality. So the staffs need to be more genuine, give a warm welcome, maintain eye to eye contact, shake hands, greet the guests with a smile, and be approachable. All these aspects will definitely enhance the guest’s experience and will create a lasting impression.