“What shall we do for dinner?” is probably the question asked most frequently on a Saturday night—at the end of the week, dining out or ordering in is infinitely preferable to planning a meal. But whose table should you dine at, who are the chefs likely to delight and surprise you every time? We decided to pick India’s top 10 rising culinary stars, with a little help from some experts. While what’s on your plate isn’t the only marker of a memorable evening, the food and the chef do play a role in sparking ideas, evoking memories or creating new ones.
We asked five industry veterans and curators to pick the best chefs aged 35 or younger, giving them some basic parameters, and compiled the Lounge list of India’s top 10 young chefs. Of course, there is bound to be some subjectivity—food, after all, is intensely personal, and each one’s palate is led by a distinct sensibility that’s a convergence of memory, experience and personality.
Many of our top 10 chefs have trained in the best kitchens in India and abroad but have pushed their way past food traditions imbibed from seniors or culinary institutes. They have picked up and mastered techniques under the guidance of top chefs, yet have created their own language by bringing to it their own food memories, curiosity, creativity and interests. They are the chefs whose tables we are likely to return to year after year. We have not ranked them, but together these chefs reflect the country’s rich culinary heritage and represent the future of the culinary arts in India.
They are, as celebrated Italian chef Massimo Bottura tells Lounge in an interview (that is in no way linked to our pick of India’s top 10 young chefs), “sitting on centuries of tradition, filtered through a contemporary mind”. These 10 are chefs who will get you excited about dining out, trying new flavours—and still leave you hungry for more.
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