Chef Sougata Ghosh

Demi Chef, Grand Hyatt Muscat

Passion & Profession

When “passion” and “profession’ gets blended well, the only word that can come up is “Magic”! I guess these two words can define the kind of person I am. Being a food lover since school days, I used to experiment with basic food ingredients during my holidays which gave me motivation to take it little seriously where I landed up in Muscat in the year 2015.

It’s difficult to find a single cuisine I would love to die for; as I love to prepare and eat food from different regions of the world. Having an experience of more than 8 years in association with Hyatt gave me the chance to work with Chefs from different corners of the world and that has influenced my taste buds so well that made me confident over the years with different ingredients and the method of cooking.

The second word “Magic” defines me well as I love to make tricks with daily objects or cards! Where as in the other way; professionally I create magic on the plate too be it with ingredients or the flavors we use to create our dishes for our daily guests as they love the way it is made and presented.

The hospitality industry is interesting if you find your interest in it for sure otherwise you will end up in frustration and mess for sure due to odd shift timings n schedules.. Well, if you talk about effort, yes we do give a lot of effort to reach the highest standard of taste, texture and service! But it feels amazing to serve something which people would love to pay for. it’s always important to keep a track of the clientele we are serving as its necessary to understand the palate they have and what they prefer to have..

Well as the industry is actually booming and blooming too! The people are more into experiments as compared to what it was around 5 years back. The restaurant business concept has taken a different turn as people are focused on themes and some real new stuff. Price and food quality plays a major role though, but the generation Y looks for ambience too which was not that important 10 years back. The crowd adapts new things faster than before so its always important to look for something new which is not in town along with a touch of the flavor of the city..

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Nirata Kar

CDP Jw marriott jaipur resort and spa

Do You Know !!

Q1. How often do you bake with alcohol?
Ans. Baking with alcohol has been in use in the recent pass and so I use it pretty often. The best part about baking with alcohol is that the flavour of the alcohol combines in the dessert which makes it better to taste.

Q2. How does alcohol improve the flavour of the cake?
Ans. Alcohol usually improves the flavour of the cake in 2 ways-
a. It incorporates flavours which are present in the alcohol in it and are determined by the fruit, grain or other source and the fermentation process.
b. Alcohol is volatile so it evaporates easily. When the alcohol evaporates, it carries other flavours from the cake which seem more pronounced as they are carried by the alcohol through nasal passages where the flavours are interpreted.

Q3. What are the main tips which you need to keep in mind while baking with alcohol?
Ans. The following are the few tips which are to be kept in mind while baking with alcohol-
a. While adding liquor to your baking, start with a little and work it up to your taste level.
b. One needs to allow adequate cooling time to remove the harsh taste of alcohol.
c. Each form of alcohol cooks and tastes differently depending on when it is added.

Q4. What’s your favourite boozy cake and why?
Ans. Chocolate Bourbon mousse cake would be topping my preference. The reason being the amalgamation of whisky along with slight bitter dark chocolate is overwhelming to the palate. It is smooth with a taste of chocolate and utterly decadent with an essence of Bourbon.

Q5. What are the No Fail tips for Novices?
a. Always use the alcohol that compliments the dessert well.
b. While adding liquor to your baking, start with a little and work it up to your taste level.

Q6. The one thing that cooks for alcohol infused confectioneries?
Ans. I would say, a little kick to your favourite dessert wouldn’t harm. All that I can say is “Baked goods are getting tipsy.”

Q7. Do you prefer alcohol infused bakes to that without alcohol?
Ans. Well, given an option I would go for alcohol infused bakes as alcohol carries more aroma to our nose, which improves our dining experience. It helps in binding fat and water naturally enhancing the flavour with minimum effort.

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Sanchyan Jana

Head Mixologist, Biggie Hospitality
Glamour, Guts & Glory behind this profession !
Starting of as a trainee bartender, Sanchayan Jana, Head Mixologist, Biggie Hospitality, has carved a niche for himself in just six years of being in this heady profession. He says that behind the glamour there is a lot of blood, sweat & tears to cope with, if one is to succeed in this profession.

Bartending looks a very glamorous profession but in reality, it is a daunting craft, replete with challenges. I joined this industry around 6 years back as a waiter in Hyatt Regency Kolkata, but I didn't like it. Instead, I found bartending more exciting and respectful as most people in this industry think. Slowly, over time, I moved to the Pool Bar in Hyatt, and after that I moved to Delhi and started my real bartending job. I started from Agni in The Park, New Delhi as trainee bartender. I then moved to the Trident Oberoi, Gurgaon. I became bar supervisor there, and then moved to the corporate world as Beverage Innovation Manager for North India at Monin. I worked there for 1.5 years and then moved to Olive Bar & Kitchen Pvt Ltd.. I am currently working in Biggie Hospitality as Head Mixologist and looking after Prankster, Pra Pra Prank & Pirates of Grill. During this period I have attend many international cocktail competitions such as Bacardi Legacy, Diageo World Class, Monin Cup, War of Spirits, Most Innovative Bartender by DCW, World’s Most Experimental Bartender by Glenfiddich etc and won a few of them.

This job looks & sounds very interesting but in reality it’s not. The work calls for super dedication, focus, ward work and sweat. We have to wipe glasses, squeeze kilos of lime, go to pick-up stores and lift heavy cases of bottles which is quite like participating in a heavy weight championship. The shift hours were nothing less than 12-14 hours those days, but if you survive that part, you then learn from your seniors, gurus, and idols. In the process, if you become creative and experimental with your work then you will definitely have a bright future in this industry.

When you experiment with different ingredients and when people drink it and praise you for the perfect cocktail mix, there is no greater joy. This makes me not only very happy but also gives me the motivation to explore more. There are so many Indian bartenders who are making waves in the international bar market, that they give me the inspiration to do more; people like Hemant Pathak from Junoon NYC, Arijit Bose, Devender Saigal, Navneet Kumar and many more. These guys are taking Indian bartending to another level.

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