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Revelations: Sanjay Dwivedi, executive chef, Coya, London

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Revelations: Sanjay Dwivedi, executive chef, Coya, London

What was your best 
subject at school?
Sport – I never was a 
keen student

What was your first 
job in catering?
Dishwasher and commis chef 
at Pygmalion in Covent Garden

What do you normally have for breakfast?
Bacon butty, pancakes, egg white omelette, porridge or the full monty

What do you do to relax?
I cycle in Richmond park or Dulwich park

Which is your favourite restaurant?
So many that I can’t say just one. In London there’s Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, Yauatcha and Street XO, and Pakta in Barcelona

What’s your favourite hotel?
D Maris Bay in Marmaris, Turkey

Which ingredients do you hate?
Bamboo shoots, curry powder and American mustard

What flavour combinations do you detest?
Too many spices – they mask the flavour

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
My dad. He taught me to work hard and to enjoy it, to respect and love everyone, and to be honest and fair at all times

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Mr Arjun Waney. I’m blessed to have him as my boss, he’s very compassionate, articulate and the most humble person I have ever met. His ethos is to look after your people and the rest will follow

What do you always carry with you?
Positiveness with a bundle of energy

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
Luxury for me is to spend time with my wife and twins

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
The owner of a château somewhere in the south of France. I’d make wine and have a casual restaurant with the best bar in town

Describe your ultimate nightmare?
A room full of snakes. I can’t even look at snakes on the TV

Tell us a secret…
I was the chef for the Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon Tour

What irritates you most about the industry?
No one wants to work hard – the hunger to learn has vanished

What’s your favourite film?
The Big Blue, Scarface, White Men Can’t Jump, Big Night and Jiro Dreams of Sushi

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