In an interview for Upscale Living Magazine, I spoke with Prashant Chipkar, Head Chef of Rasoi by Vineet at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva. We discussed his early motivations and inspiration, signature dishes, and more.
Brought up in Pune, India, Chipkar has been at the helm of Rasoi by Vineet since June 2014. Prior, he spent time at the Michelin-starred ‘Rasoi’ restaurant in London under the guidance of Chef Vineet Bhatia to understand the finer details of the cuisine and to master the concept of evolved Indian food. Chef Chipkar has also worked with TAJ Hotels and Resorts in India, and directed the kitchen team for four years at famous Indian gastronomic restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok.
What motivated you to explore a culinary career, and where do you source your inspiration from?
I grew up as a “hungry child” in a family who loves to cook for themselves and loves to cook for others. My aunty and mom are great cooks so it motivated me to become a chef and I took admission in a culinary school. From that time, I started developing myself as a cook, chef and leader. My source of inspiration is obviously Chef Vineet Bhatia. He is without any doubt my childhood hero. I grew up watching his TV shows, reading his cook book, reading his philosophy and concept behind Indian cuisine. I consider myself very lucky to have been given the chance to work with my childhood hero.
What are some of the signature dishes of your own creation at Rasoi, and why do you believe you’ve been so successful?
My signature dishes are the pork vindaloo and quinoa crusted halibut with Goan sauce, as well as the Coconut chicken. My success is closely linked to Chef Vineet Bhatia and of course, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. It is also related to the fact that I work with original recipes which are our own creations. We do not copy anything from anywhere, and we reflect our own ideas in the dishes. Our recipes are inspired from various parts of India and are based on a story behind each particular dish that we translate in our own way.
For guests looking to experience the best of Rasoi, what kind of menu would you suggest?
The best way to fully experience the essence of Rasoi by Vineet and enjoy a one-of-a-kind sensory voyage into India’s finest flavors is our Gourmand Menu. It consists of 6 courses, each with its special signature from a part of India, and it is available with the perfect wine pairing. We also offer a selection of traditional Indian recipes for guests who prefer the classics.