Italian food made me understand and bring out the taste of main ingredients and not camouflage them with another. I fell in love with pizza first and then pasta came into my life. I learnt a lot about pizzas. The dough, the warmth, the effect of fermentation time on the taste and texture, sourness and sweetness of tomatoes in sauce and various cheeses used for pizzas. As it all gained momentum, my knowledge into carta di musica, focaccia, ciabatta and other Italian breads also grew. I was talking to my Italian Chefs, listening to the anecdotes of the usual daily life in Italy. It all differed from region to region, house to house and from mamma to mamma. All the interactions with Italian Chefs and Italian guests that I met at the restaurant during my 7 years, gave me an insight into the beautiful life in Italy. They were all very close to their homes, family, friends, loved talking and having good food. During this time, I learnt making some of the best pastas, risotto, roasting meats and cooking vegetables. There was no stopping. Every kitchen that I worked at was an open kitchen. We called them ‘interactive’ as there was no partition to separate the kitchen area, no glass, no wall – all working in harmony. I would immediately get my results about authenticity talking to the Italians enjoying my food. Cooking food and then seeing someone enjoy it, is a different level of happiness.
From there I moved to Chinese restaurant. It was no cake walk!