Food Inspector and Head Chef Penta Kota Pavan Kumar, an Indian national, has seven years of culinary experience, three of which are in the UAE.
Can you give us a glimpse of your career journey so far?
I started my career with Taj Hotels as a kitchen helper. Afterwards, I have worked at Novotel, the Park, with Marriot, Azadea and now I am head chef at Healthy and Diet restaurant.
What’s your favourite dish to eat and why?
One of the most interesting foodie experiences I have ever had was eating a Greek Chicken Yogurt Bowl in Assam and Bamboo Charcoal Powder in Arunachal Pradesh; these are my two favourite dishes.
What are you cooking up today? Tell us more about the dish.
Today, I’m preparing a dish called Grilled Herb Poulet; it’s a French dish which most people like to eat as a main course. There are many global and regional preparation techniques and cooking styles.
Herbed chicken is often seasoned or coated in a spice rub, lemon sauce, or both. Marinades are also used to tenderise the meat and add flavour. Rotisserie chicken has gained prominence and popularity in US grocery markets; herbed chicken is one of the world’s most popular grilled dishes
As a chef, what are the top ingredients and products you’re using these days?
As a healthy head chef, I mostly prefer oats and organic vegetables. The main difference between organic and conventional food products are the chemicals used for production and processing; the residues of those chemicals in food products have questionable effects on human health.
All food products on the market including those that contain residues of pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones and other types of chemicals which are used during production and processing are claimed to be safe.
What are some of the most recent important food trends you can tell us about?
Healthy food: a healthy diet should contain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and include little to no processed foods or sweetened beverages. The requirements from healthy foods can be met with a variety of plant- and animal-based foods, although a non-plant source of vitamin B12 is needed for those following a vegan diet.
What would you advise suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer their best to the market and meet demand?
Focus on the quality of the product! Food safety is important; you want to be sure that your food is wholesome. We need to keep a close watch over what goes into our food and how it is processed before being sold to us.