Manish Sharma, the Executive Chef at Hyatt, Bangalore, belongs to Hyatt to such an echelon that he says, he was ‘conceived’ in Hyatt. An experimenter by nature, he has people wooing over his delicacies all day!
To belong to an industry that is no more unusual, but because you’ve been in it before it got into fashion, is something one can feel proud about. The art of Culinary that was once considered a feminine job, has made its way through decades just to see more men emerge out as cooks and Chefs. The profession has seen many youngsters starting off for the sake of bread and butter and ending up absolutely loving the job.
One such Chef, who says he was by no means passionate about Culinary in the start, has now become people’s favorite Chef for all the scrumptious food he dishes out. Chef Manish Sharma, executive chef at Hyatt, MG Road, Bangalore was a typical science student who couldn’t make it in the field of IT or other science based profession, and hence took up Hotel Management. With time, he developed love for his profession and decided that cooking is what would define him there on.
A Brahmin boy hailing from Himachal Pradesh, India, Chef Manish did his Hotel management in IHM, Bhopal. When he began his expedition in college, he exercised his experimentation skills and found out that he was definitely not cut out for front office. The service and housekeeping didn’t fascinate him for sure. Culinary was what he believed was for him and then he eventually fell in love with it. And then when fate chose it, he began his career at Hyatt Regency, Delhi where he did his Industrial training. La Piazza- an Italian restaurant made all the difference in his life. Getting to train under a native Italian Chef, Chef Manish developed his passion for Italian cuisines. Further he swung to Grand Hyatt in Dubai. With Hyatt covering most parts of life, he jokingly says that he was conceived in Hyatt, meaning that all the Industrial training also happened there! He further worked at Andiamo, Manhattan Real and the American Steak House and finally ended up in Radisson where he was in charge of the entire restaurant. This was the part of time when he actually explored the world of other cuisines like Indian, Arabic and Oriental cuisines.
His Culinary skills sketched a path for him to travel the world. He moved to Maldives in 2006 where he worked in an island resort for a year. With a good success story to tell regarding his Maldives experience, he chose to take a look at his personal life and get married. Hence he returned to Chennai where he opened a propertyfor one of the renowned brands. Post this experience he worked as a corporate chef for five years. He realized his life lacked some fine culinary action and he shifted back to Bangalore in 2014 and like one would expect, he got into Hyatt.
With the way life treated him at Hyatt, he wanted more of it. With two restaurants under his control- Lido and Pink Poppadam, Chef Manish was over whelmed as he knew he could take his cooking skills a long way from then on. With Pink Poppadam being an Indian cuisine based restaurant with an interesting confluence of other flavours to the food, Chef Manish chose to experiment with Lido. He tested out his multi-cuisine skills here with Italian, Mexican, Oriental, Modern European, Beer & Kebabs and grill barbecue. The experimenting mainly focused on the brunches that are never the same. ‘If today there is Bengali cuisine on the menu, the next day will probably be European or Italian’ he says.Indian cuisine is stereotyped to have boring presentation. Chef Manish broke the stereotyping with his work on plating. This way,his experimentation skills outlined the right path for him, and he is applauded for his uniqueness and new samples.
He endears his team of 35 who, he says have ‘hot blood’ and enthusiasm to such apoint that they never impede learning. He says, ‘Tosuccessfully lead a team, it is important to consider the opinions of the team’. He has also never stopped trying to make his guests happy. He says, the retention of your guests to become regular diners depends on the Chef. If the chef treats them and serves them right, there will definitely be returning guests.
He cherishes his life as a Chef and considers, ‘It’s not mundane & I am doing the same thing everyday’ is the best part of his profession. He also quotes, ‘The best part about Hyatt is that it allows you to fail. Nobody questions you when you fail. And that is what allows us to grow and learn.’ Seventeen years in the industry and he believes there is more to learn. He follows the mantra ‘Stick to the basics. Keep it simple and people will love it.’