Saturday, 25 February 2012

Simple BeginningsI

Hi Y'all
First blog and all that... So please excuse the mistakes.

I started my journey of Culinary Passion at the age of 5, looking back now I realise that images of food make my mouth water (they still do)

I was reading Asterix in Spain and seeing the people eat cheese fondue with chunks of bread on knifes I had this irrestible urge to have it then and there.

I crept into the kitchen , put a stool near the stove and heated an omlette pan with eggs, milk and Amul cheese
 (16 Years later I learnt I had made Scrambled Eggs...)
and toasted bread on a Dosa Griddle.

I am guilty of forcing my Paternal Grandmother (God rest her soul in peace)who was a pure vegetarian to eat it...
 (she liked it then, but all hell broke lose when she saw the egg shells)
Patti christened the dish as "Deshpande" cos' she couldn't say Cheese Fondue

I got spanked by my mother for making a mess in the kitchen ... 
But that didn't stop her tasting the stuff and calling everyone to tell them how well I had cooked
I was proud I had just cooked a meal, and though it didn't look anything like it was supposed to, everyone talked about it all the time and I got the attention I wanted.
I made a zillion versions of that for many people (partly because I didnt really remember how to replicate it) 

I was like lightning ... 
Couldn't repeat my accidental successes.  Managed to hide my failures pretty well like the various attempts at caramel custard and burnt sugar that actually caught fire once and my Elder cousin threw oil on it and it got worse ...

Many years later and many more stomach aches to all my near and dear, I had started figuring out flavors and identifying what went into something by tasting it.
A very patient and encouraging mother (who worked so I had to cook often) , many maids who cleaned up after my disasters.
Great siblings and friends who never realized they were falling sick because of what I was cooking.
I finally found out there was a profession for me to continue my kitchen experiments 
(no cookery tv shows back then, not too many books either). Stubbornly I set out and managed to get into one of the best schools for this.
Many hard sessions and classes later feeling like the Shaolin Monk after the 36th Chamber I was actually able to repeat a few dishes and was getting better. Thanks Chef Subanna Kannur, Chef Vivek Madan. 
I believe I had managed to agitate my lectures so much I got the nickname Commis 79. 

To cut this long story short and end the self flagellation...  
I kinda aced my class in cooking, managed to win a few Chef Competitions, impress many with my culinary skills, work in chains with outlets across India, start consulting, set up restaurants, give more satisfied and happy stomachs an ache because they were too full than the "Ouch ! I am going to be Sick " variety...

Still ...

Live to Eat !
Chef Koushik