Sous Chef Praveen Kumar, an Indian national, has 12 years of culinary experience in the UAE.
Can you give us a glimpse of your career journey so far?
I started my career as a chef in 2006 in Kerala, India, working with a small hotel. In 2009, I got the opportunity to work at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, in many restaurants including The Wharf, Barzar and Jambase. In 2013, I was selected to take on a role at Zero Gravity as part of the pre-opening team, where I became a part of many successful concepts.
What’s your favourite dish to eat and why?
I love the crispy chicken sliders, as they have a sweet and spicy taste with mango in them. The dish is made with chicken breast crumbed with corn flakes, which makes it extra crispy, then it’s coated with sweet chili sauce and mango salsa, served in a charcoal bun with a chipotle mayonnaise spread.
What are you cooking up today? Tell us more about the dish.
Today, I’m cooking paprika rub-roasted veal ribs with Nestlé Mashed Potato, butter squash puree, broccolini, CHEF Demi-Glace and fresh truffle.
As a chef, what are the top ingredients and products you’re using these days?
I always have fresh truffles, caviar, organic olive oil and lobsters available in my kitchen. I use different kinds of mushrooms, heirloom vegetables and chili blends.
What are some of the most recent important food trends you can tell us about?
As the market is now more aware of what consumers have on their plates and the impact of food on health, many people around the world prefer plant-based foods. More meat alternatives are being introduced and people are more into organic, sustainable and heart-healthy picks.
What would you advise suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer their best to the market and meet demand?
The product needs to be simple to be understood by the consumer. The taste of the product will always matter when weighing things between healthy and tasty. Soon, calorie details will be a must on menus, and so less fried foods and more raw, roasted or steamed options will be the norm.