• The Kitchen Star
  • Date: 2015-10-20
  • The Indian palate is always looking for newer flavours to experiment while making frequent trips back to comfort food from their childhood. As business operators we should be adaptable to this ever curious explorer. Chef Roy Satheesan, Executive Chef, The Leela Kovalam shares more about his culinary journey with this very iconic property.


    Tell us something about your culinary journey. How did it shape your cooking philosophy?
    My fascination towards food started quite early while devouring simple home cooked meals by my mother. She used to get chided by  my grandparents for getting me hooked on to delicious food which I may expect as  a norm once I grow up and go afar. During my teens, I was enthralled by the wedding kitchens where loads of Kerala porottas and biryanis were churned out. The passion to dish out food with love and perfection was nurtured in those kitchens. Post my stint with The Oberois, I started my world travel in luxury cruise liners which helped build my repertoire from Michelin star restaurants of France, Trattorias of Italy, Churrascarias of Brazil and street side stalls of Mexico and Puerto Rico. 


    How important is f&b according to you for the growth of a hotel?
    Food in a hotel is as good a basic need as the comfortable shelter it provides. A luxurious stay has to be complemented by a well-designed food and beverage operation which can cater to the whims and fancies of the discerning traveller.


    Tell us about your experiences at The Leela Kovalam?
    The Leela Kovalam is an iconic hotel nestled on the cliffs of Kovalam beach. The scenic vistas are unique and guests do cherish their moments spent at the hotel. I have been able to add on to their memorable experiences through the variety of food offerings. 


    Have you introduced any unique recipes for your hotel?
    I have brought in authenticity to the classic favourites in the menus. Do try Chilli Tenderloin Pizza from our new Pizzeria menu at The Terrace, Beef Bulgogi from our Pan Asian menu at Tides, Mulled Fruit Elixir and Njavara rice Paella from our Wellness menu at The Café. I am experimenting with our in situ aquaponics farm for fresh caught fish, herbs and vegetables.


    In such a competitive market, what according to you makes a restaurant brand successful?
    The dishes in the menu have to exceed the guests’ expectations in terms of taste and innovativeness. The classic fare has to be authentic and new creations have to be satiating the palate and mind.


    If not a chef, what would have you been?
    I would have been a marketing and advertising professional. n

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