World Chefs: Kochhar honors award-winning restaurant with new cookbook

Tue Feb 3, 2015 12:14am EST
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By Matilda Egere-Cooper

LONDON (Reuters) - Revolutionizing the concept of Indian cuisine has been the key to Atul Kochhar’s success since moving to Britain as a young chef in the early '90s.

He made history as the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star for his debut London restaurant Tamarind in 2001.

Six years later, he picked up another accolade for his second venture, Benares, in 2007.

The Mayfair restaurant is the inspiration for his fourth cookbook, which aims to share his unique approach to fine dining.

The 44-year-old chef and restaurateur spoke to Reuters about growing up in India, his philosophy of cuisine, and his tips for cooking at home.

Q: In India, you grew up in a foodie family. Did you automatically want to become a chef?

A: No, I wanted to be a cricketer but that didn’t happen unfortunately. Growing up in a household where there were six of us –- five sisters and a younger brother -- food was always around us. India produces around 2,000 varieties of mangos, and going through different mangoes through the seasons was a heck of a thing. My family was very into it; my dad was very passionate about mangoes. He would make us taste them and that was a great learning.

Q: What did you want to achieve when you moved to Britain?   Continued...

Chef Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, poses at his Benares restaurant in Mayfair, central London January 21, 2015. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh