Vimal Dhar is a renowned Chef. A Kashmiri Pandit who was born and brought up in Ranchi, Bihar. He did his Schooling from some remote areas of UP. His entry into hotel management was purely incidental. He started his career as a chef at the age of 21 and worked as for 15 years and since two and a half years he is working as an Entrepreneur. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Mr. Vimal Dhar by Deepankshi Chittora and Siddharth Nagar from UdaipurBlog.com
UB: What eagerness brought you to this field? Did you have any other career options before you opt for this profession?
A. Well actually, I did have an option to go for the Architectural Engineering. But my inclination was more in Arts and the creativity it involves. I used to help my mother in the household job especially in kitchen which fascinated me a lot. This drove me to join Hotel Management course.
UB: Please tell us about your achievements so far.
A. The biggest achievement, I think, is that I am a happy man. I never thought that I would be pursuing my passion. And since I am doing my work, this is my biggest achievement.
UB: How have been your experiences as a Chef?
A. I have been an average person throughout the life. So, I realized that mehnat to karni padegi [the only option I had is to work hard] which I did do. I achieved a level beyond which there was nothing to achieve. So my experience was like being so high on the 7th heaven.
UB: What is the source of inspiration behind your success?
A. It’s me only. You have to work hard to get to a level where you achieve something. It’s the individual who has to decide and it’s the blessings of the almighty that do the rest.
UB: As you just said that you realized that mehnat to karni padegi. At what point of time did you realize so?
A. Well, Once I had to repeat my class 11th. This event shocked my conscience. But I have no regrets as I took this positively. It provided me an opportunity to work hard and I did work very hard and performed even better than my normal.
UB: We have heard that you worked with Taj Lake palace. So can you share with us some of your experiences at Lake palace?
A. Yes, I started with Lake Palace. I was actually the lucky chap in my college to get 1st campus placement at Taj Lake Palace. So, I was very happy. I joined there as a trainee and got promoted. I worked there with the greatest chefs and got brilliant exposure.
UB: What is you motto of life ahead?
A. We have to grow the brand now. Udaipuri has to come in different cities of Rajasthan atleast. And Kabab Mistri’s next level is to reach cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, etc.
UB: How you found Udaipur as far as culture and taste is concerned?
A. Udaipur is nice and versatile. The people accept everyone. Initially he had a mixed experience and being a small city everyone will approach Udaipuri but those who remain with us for the next 2 years they are the actual customers.
UB: As a chef which is the best restaurant you have ever been and why?
A. There are so many actually and not just one. In India Maurya Sheraton & Bukhara of Delhi are quite authentic with their non vegetarian stuff. Another is Diva (an Italian restaurant) again in Delhi. La Piazza at Hyatt, Delhi, which is again serving some good Italian stuff.
UB: Which one do you feel is the best – Indian Food or of any other country?
A. Well, as a chef I have respect for all the food. All that matters is the originality must not be lost. It has to be natural and one should not fiddle with the taste by mixing colours etc.
UB: In the contemporary world the junk foods are buckling down the traditional foods. What is your take on this?
A. I don’t see anything like this. No food is buckling the other. They both have their respective clienteles in their own respective spheres.
UB: Do you think Udaipur is growing?
A. Yes, it is but not at a satisfactory pace. I find people here are reluctant towards spending money unlike people in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai etc who spends liberally which is good for people like us [Laughs].
UB: What is your perspective about UdaipurBlog.com?
A. It is good. You people are doing a great job. I get positive vibes and the best part is that youngsters are doing this, so, that energy is visible. I wish you all good luck in your Endeavor.