Chef Atul Kocchar, (clockwise from top) - Chefs Ajay Chopra, Ranveer Brar, Vicky Ratnani and Manish Mehrotra
They love to cook. But, once in a while they like to be served. They are our top chefs who spend their days (and nights!) running top kitchens of the country to bring the best food to our table. We asked some of our favourite celebrity chefs about the restaurants they like to eat at, and what do they expect from a meal.
Chef Ranveer Brar
I think what turns a meal into a complete experience is the conversations. Apart from great food and service, what I most look forward to while eating out is meeting people. In Mumbai, I absolutely love the food at Bohri Mohalla and Mohammed Ali Road. If it is coastal food, then Malvan Katta in Dadar is where I head to, and Aaswad for traditional Maharashtrian food. Arola at JW Marriott and Wasabi by Morimoto at The Taj are my two other favourite places to eat in the city. When I am in the capital, it has to be the street food around Jama Masjid. Outside India I love the food in Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong. I have some fond memories of eating out in the US particularly of a restaurant called Alinea in Chicago.
Chef Manish Mehrotra
My expectations from a restaurant are simple. It has to be a clean and comfortable place serving good food. If I am in Bangalore, I make it a point to eat at Karavalli, which to me serves the best south Indian food. Outside India I have had one of the most outstanding meals in Mathias in Stockholm. Another favourite is Thomas Keller’s New York restaurant, Per Se.
Chef Atul Kochhar
It's the vibrant food culture of Mumbai that sets the city apart from Delhi. That said, I am absolutely inspired by the food at Mahesh Lunch Home. I also ate the thali at Highway Gomantak recently, which was simply delicious. I loved digging into the flavourful curries. Eleven Madison Park in New York has to be my favourite international restaurant.
Chef Ajay Chopra
Great food and ambience are the two things that make for a perfect dining experience. Considering I am quite particular about my cuisine preferences, I am the sort of guy who will not leave the house without deciding what to eat. My favourite international restaurant is Zuma in London. It serves Pan Asian food with a simple and modern approach. I still remember the flavours of the Chilean Sea Bass and some asparagus dish, which were absolutely mindblowing. I always want to go back to eat there. Hakkasan London is another favourite, and if I were to compare it with the Mumbai outpost, the former is far ahead of its game. In Mumbai, I prefer Yauatcha as it is more affordable and the food is at par with its London restaurant. Apart from that, I also like LPQ for its rustic, fresh and seasonal approach.
Chef Vicky Ratnani
I enjoy eating at clean, no-frill restaurants. To me, the staff has to be friendly, knowledgeable and proud of their food. The food should be tasty and flavourful. When I am in Delhi, I head to Havemore for their amazing butter chicken. In Lucknow, I love to gorge on the kebabs at Tunde Ke Kebab. If I am in Mumbai, then The Table has to be one of my favourite restaurants.