Tarun Bhatia: “I had some options as what to choose as a career, chef was one of it…”

Tarun Bhatia was named the best young chef in South East Asia region during the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 regional heat and he will now put his passion for cooking to the test at the Grand Finale in Milan under the guidance of mentor chef Will Meyrick.

We spoke to him about his preparations on how he turned a passion into a profession.

My dish is unique because…
It is a humble dish made from basic and simple ingredients cooked using modern techniques yet keeping the authentic flavors intact.

What are the main influences in your signature dish?
The main influence in my dish is the local and the popular ingredients from Bengal region where I got inspired to do this, here seafood is majorly enjoyed between locals.

How are you collaborating with your S.Pellegrino Young Chef mentor in order to perfect your dish for the final?
Unfortunately We have not met yet and will probably be seeing each other by 20th of September.

What led you to choosing a career in the kitchen?
When ever we used to go out camping in school I would always volunteer for cooking the meals and when I was done schooling I had some options in my list as what to choose as a career, chef was one of it, others didn’t work but cooking did lol.

Who has been a mentor to you throughout your career?
When I started my culinary journey from college I would get mentored by Chef Shaun Kenworthy, then after passing out from College my current mentor is Chef Sujan Sarkar and now for sometime until competition it will be Chef Will Meyrick.

What are your professional ambitions?
I want to showcase what Indian cuisine has to offer and would want to open a place where I can do this freely.

What’s the best dish you ever tasted? Where did you eat it and who cooked it?
Now that is a very tough question, How ever I remember Zeshan which is a famous restaurant in Kokata and eating mutton korma, which I would say was the best I ever tasted.

What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
S.Pellegrino Young Chef’s most exciting/challenging element is competing with the young best chefs from around the world.

What will you do if you win the competition?
This competition will for sure give me enough confidence to the next level if I win it.