“Cooking Is an Art”- Chef Zurath Kamdin


July 14, 2020

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.
I grew up in the tea plantations of South India. Born and brought up in Ooty. Studied catering and architecture, spent many years doing Architecture and Trade Fair Pavilion design in India, and other countries in the world. Moved to Hong Kong 10 years ago, and decided to stop architecture and design and follow my passion for food. 

2. What led you to take up this career path?
I changed my career path 10 years ago, as I was not too challenged to do exceptional architecture in Hong Kong. Noticing that the local population were more food oriented, I realized that this was a chance to follow my lifelong passion of food. 
I opened and operated a large catering and food production facility and successfully operated this until last year, and then changed my course to more of being a Personal chef and providing cheffing services for house parties. 

3.What does your typical day looks like?
A typical day as a Personal chef is more of talking to my patrons, building menus for their events. As a chef trainer, I would prepare my material for training and instruction. I also hold online interactive cooking classes worldwide, and during those times, my day can begin as early as 2.00am, if I am instructing a class in the USA, or Canada. 
Most days are spent fine tuning my recipe book, preparing it for publishing. 

4. Does one’s approach change when cooking professionally and at home?
If as a professional chef, you let your guard down while cooking at home, the same will follow when you cook in a professional capacity. I use the same amount of enthusiasm when I cook at home, as I do when I am working. 

5. Is there a dish you particularly associate yourself with?
It is difficult to associate myself with a particular dish. As a trained chef of International cuisines, each dish I prepare has it’s own significant aspects, and associations. 

6. Can cooking be learnt at culinary schools or a natural talent is required?
Cooking is an art. It cannot be fully learnt at a Culinary school. One does need a certain amount of passion, and adventure to achieve culinary goals. Culinary schools do not usually teach you the finer aspects of culinary art. You may acquire certain skills while you study, learn nutrition, and other commercial cooking.
 But if your heart is not in this, you will not excel in this profession. A certain amount of creativity is always needed for this, and the willingness to go beyond the boundaries of what you are taught in a Culinary school 

7. Which is your favourite book and why?
Favourite book.. Again that is not possible to pin~point a particular book. As a constant student of history, books based on historical events, history of cuisine cultures, and books similar to this hold my interest in a very large way. 

– Chef Zurath

Interview By- Anshika Sharma