Executive Chef Rajesh Sanil, an Indian national, has 15 years of culinary experience, six of which are in the UAE.
Can you give us a glimpse of your career journey so far?
I started my culinary journey in London as a trainee in 2005. During my career, I have worked in the hospitality industry for some of the biggest hotels under Hilton, Marriot and The Ritz-Carlton in England and the US. I worked in different fields at 5-star hotels, restaurants, and cruise ships, in addition to flight catering operations.
I moved to Dubai six years back, and I am currently the Executive chef for Foodings restaurant, and a new upcoming project named “Zacafe”.
What’s your favourite dish to eat and why?
I am big fan of grills, from meat to seafood, with a great salad on side. As a variety of rubs and marinades can be used, I would never say no to grills. I also like a good breakfast, especially with flavours like coconut and banana; Mangalore buns just make my day.
What are you cooking up today? Tell us more about the dish.
Seabass with green lentils and okra crisp, and Thai red curry sauce.
The fish is nicknamed “sea wolf” in the South of France because of its versatility; it goes very well with lentils, which are low in calories and rich in iron. It is a popular Thai dish consisting of red curry paste cooked in coconut milk.
As a chef, what are the top ingredients and products you’re using these days?
Techniques are important, but the most important thing is having good-quality ingredients. It’s all about our ability to be flexible and work with available produce.
Some of the ingredients I like experimenting with include balsamic, miso, wasabi, truffle, and green peppercorns.
What are some of the most recent important food trends you can tell us about?
Yearly trends in dining and cooking can be difficult to predict, and 2021 food trends have been no exception. But after a stressful 2020, many people have turned to food more than ever as a means of comfort, wellbeing, and community.
The food trends of 2021 point towards an overall goal of better health for our bodies, planet, and wallets. Immune boosters, healthy diets such as keto and flexitarian, carb alternatives, and fusion cuisine are all trending.
What would you advise suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer their best to the market and meet demand?The purchasing process is an essential part of every foodservice operation. Buying the right ingredients, in accurate amounts, at the right time, and at the best price is important.
My advice would be to introduce products which are cost-effective and help reduce wastage without compromising on quality, using local produce.