Name: Kalpesh Hansjee
Establishment: Michelangelo Hotel
Q. How would you describe your style of cooking? What inspires you?
A: Simple, sensationally flavorful with interesting textures and colors, food that is delicious on the tongue and that eats elegantly, with a cosmopolitan influence.
What inspires me is art, people and beautiful ingredients to work with and working with liked minded professional Chefs.
Q: Describe a typical day in your restaurant?
A: Planned controlled, chaos that is fast paced whilst maintaining attention to detail and respect given to the ingredients and to the people who are eating what is produced for them while having lots of fun doing it.
Q: What has been your proudest moment as a chef?
A: Cooking for Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama just to name a few as well as other celebrities, artists, musicians, different heads of states, working in Michelin Star restaurants, family, friends my beautiful wife and most importantly creating meals every day in the kitchen for people.
Q: What has been your biggest learning curve?
A: Not listening to my intuition.
Q. What are your favourite ingredients? And, 1 ingredient that we will never find in your kitchen?
A: I do not have a favorite ingredient, I like working with all types of produce and ingredients that is available and how it all comes together to form a meal.
Q. What is your favourite dish that you enjoy cooking?
A: Anything and everything, I just love cooking food.
Q: Six people (dead or alive) who you would like to cook for?
A: Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Dr. Seuss, Willie Wonka, Vincent Van Gogh and Lady Gaga
Q. What trends / challenges are restaurants facing in 2017?
A: Trends would be simple, delicious, fresh ingredients, artisanal food, relaxed dining with a relaxed experience but still offering the same finesse and elegance that comes with fine dining.
Social media can be a challenge in the sense that sometimes, people with very limited knowledge on food and fine dining, can then post negative reviews which are often unwarranted. Other challenges are a lot of competition and sometimes not enough demand to sustain it due to the rising cost of food. You see many restaurants opening and closing soon afterwards due to this.
Q. The #1 thing that annoys you in restaurants?
A: Lazy, free loading people with no drive and ambition and poor service from waiters i.e. with great food comes, great service.
Q. Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
A: Taste your food; if it is good enough for you it will be good enough for the next person.
Visit The Michelangelo Hotel.