Collaborative Cuisine will Prevail : Chef Tarun Sibal

Sibal hails from the first catering family of Delhi and is almost hardwired to do what he does.

CHEF, MARKETER and an entrepreneur, bagging three tags on his shoulder, Chef Tarun Sibal has an interesting journey to tell in the field of food.  Sibal hails from the first catering family of Delhi and is almost hardwired to do what he does. Having, trained with the best and travelled for food and beverage made him well versed with Indian and International cuisine and food cultures. With his recent launch of Café Staywoke, he is all geared up to introduce new interesting cafes in the present year. BW Hotelier spoke to Sibal to know more his future endeavours.  

Brief us about your journey into the culinary world

It started with the gene pool as I come for the first catering family of Delhi. Being part of a food family helped but the gene pool was not the only reason for me to be part of this wonderful fraternity. All I wanted to do was to be in the food business, as a chef as a marketer and as an entrepreneur.

I started my culinary journey in the year 2000 at IHM Pusa Delhi. An Industrial trainee at the Oberoi, a Management Trainee with the Habitat World and a Sous chef in 2006 were the three major milestones of the first phase of my professional life. Working and learning with the best chefs at the Habitat World, that period became the core of food sensibilities. Having said that my food dream was bigger than being confined to a kitchen hence in 2006 in pursued my MBA and ventured into Marketing of food and beverage, conceiving brands stories, path to the market for food and beverage brands. During this phase I had the opportunity to work with the top Indian and International brands. I had the opportunity worked with 3 international food boards, Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board), Sopexa, (The French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) and MLA (The Meat and livestock association of Australia) and understand who countries take pride in their indigenous produce.

The last leg of the second phase was surrounded by wines and specialised sprits as I took charge of the sales and marketing office at Fratelli wines in 2011 followed by being the country manager at Berenetzen Spirits in 2014.

And then in 2015 lighting struck and I was back where I belong. I left the corporate world to reiterate the family’s catering business and that’s when One Fine Meal saw daylight. A year later I had the opportunity to open my first café and Café Staywoke opened its door for guests in November 2017.

Sidecar and Loft, where you’ll have my food signatures launched in 2018 and 19 respectively to great accolades. 2019 will also see the birth of “TITLIE” my new restaurant in GOA.

What are the trends you are witnessing in the f&b space?

“Gourmet Casual” is going to be the biggest food trend of 2019. Non-pretentious yet gourmet food served in a casual environment will make a big statement. Food will be about great taste again. More and more street food interpretations will come in mainframe restaurant menus. We will also see the rise of restaurants based on the Chef and his food thought instead of cuisine-based restaurants. Dining in (delivery) will also emerge as a dominant heavyweight, in the overall food business ecosystem.

According to you, which cuisine is slowly being dominated in India?

The food ecosystem has transformed drastically and the cuisine barrier is broken, no longer do chefs and restaurants stick to one cuisine or for that matter any cuisine. Local and international produce is available and chefs have started working with these products and make their own food stories that may fit in a particular cuisine or may not. Collaborative cuisine will prevail

How do you plan to experiment more on food?

I am a consumer first, I eat, eat out, and do that fairly often. It’s my way of discovering, rediscovering, getting inspired and collaborating with food. And this sensibility I take back into my kitchen.

Technique and Produce are the two areas I keep working on to evolve and I experiment with both these aspects of my cooking. Going back to an age-old technique or working with a lost ingredient vis vi working with latest kitchen gadgets are all part of the experimental curve

What about the idea of farm to table?

Farm to table is a brilliant concept, but it’s in its nascency in India. We not only work with producers directly but also work with institutions and suppliers who consolidate a group for farmers and get us the freshest seasonal and local produce. I am personally a part of the Young Chef’s Association that works directly with farmers to promote farm to fork and celebrate the indigenous produce of the land.

Should we go back to our indigenous ingredients?

We should not go back but move forward with our indigenous ingredients. Having said that its easier said than done. Do understand the nuances of an ingredient, learn to work with it and then incorporate the same in your food style. Consumers eat out for taste and that should be the primary objective when you work any produce.

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