Executive Chef Vijeesh Varghese, an Indian national, treasures authentic Keralan eats.
Can you give us a glimpse of your career journey so far?
For the past 20 years, I have experienced the food industry through different cuisines. In 2013, I came to the UAE to work for Calicut Notebook restaurant group as Group Executive Chef. Calicut Notebook is an Indian fusion chain; we have six outlets and one central Kitchen in the UAE. Moreover, we also have one outlet in Kerala, India.
What’s your favourite dish to eat and why?
My favourite foods are the Kerala paratha and Kerala-style fish curry, because they remind me of my childhood.
What are you cooking up today? Tell us more about the dish.
Today, I’m preparing Fish Mango Curry, which diners of many nationalities love; it’s a very mild, yummy dish – a combination of South Indian paratha, appam, puttu and more. With the taste of raw mango and coconut milk, along with the fresh seafood, Fish Mango Curry is the fastest-moving item in our restaurant.
In one day, we sell around 250 portions of Fish Mango Curry across all our outlets.
As a chef, what are the top ingredients and products you’re using these days?
The MAGGI® Coconut Milk Powder is the main ingredient we use at our restaurant.
What are some of the most recent important food trends you can tell us about?
Due to the current situation, diners need healthy, tasty foods – fast.
What would you advise suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer their best to the market and meet demand?
I would like to suggest to food suppliers that, when a chef approves ingredients – they should ensure the availability of the product, in addition to monitoring quality.