Sandeep Kalra, the executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore in India is the culinary director of the nine restaurants and bars at the property.
With over 24 years of expertise, Sandeep’s travels to Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland and Italy make him curate menus and delicacies with characteristic global culinary excellence complemented with an innovative approach to source local produce and seasonal favourites.
With an extensive knowledge of Italian, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Swiss and Indian cuisine, his signature dishes include velouté of artichokes and foie gras, seared scallops with truffle, mesquite grilled peppered lamb loin with bacon and confit garlic potatoes and the unique tiramisu. I caught up with Sandeep to hear about his influences, his love of eggs and how you’ll find Vietnamese specialities served up in his home.
Do you have a favourite time of year or set of ingredients that you look forward to working with?
Winter months are my favourite time of the year, as it heralds festivities and is a nourishing season for berries and fruits. I look forward to incorporating the range of berries and fruits into the menu during this time of the year.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
I would be in the Indian Armed Forces.
Do your personal preferences influence the menu at all?
The experience and learning I have acquired over the years in culinary is incorporated into curating menus, making them versatile and exclusive.
What do you think is the most over-hyped food trend currently?
I think maybe the focus on a keto based diet is a trend that is a bit heightened.
When are you happiest?
I am the happiest cooking on the range, experimenting with fresh ingredients.
When you’re not in the kitchen where can you be found?
I like visiting local markets and sustainable produce resources and sourcing local ingredients.
Where is your favourite place to dine?
I have moved to Bangalore early this year, so I like to visit restaurants that offer authentic south Indian fare.
What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?
I really prefer the versatility of cooking eggs, and that there are so many ways to season and cook them. They are healthy, easy to make and taste great.
What makes the local food scene so exciting?
The myriad of flavours and freshness of seasonal and local ingredients.
Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?
The salmon seaweed roulade is a festive delicacy and I really appreciate the combination of making, flavouring the ingredients and the plating of the dish.
You’re having friends over for dinner tonight. What’s on the table?
I like to serve Vietnamese specialities at home for friends and family.
Name your favourite city that has it all – food, culture, and nightlife
Delhi is my favourite city that has it all!
What is the USP of your cuisine?
Fresh ingredients, specific, simple and elegant dishes.
What’s your comfort food and what does it remind you of?
We all have strong influences from our formative years, home-cooked daal and roti by my mother is my comfort food.