Atul Kochhar, former chef-patron of Benares, has weathered last year's Twitterstorm to open Kanishka, an Indian restaurant in Mayfair that draws its influence from the little-known dishes from north-east India's seven sister states. He talks to Vincent Wood
Even before last year, when a tweet caused Atul Kochhar to part ways with Mayfair restaurant Benares, the greatest turning point in the chef's life came from being berated.
"I cooked him a three-course meal," Kochhar says, "I could see that he was not happy. He said 'let's go for a walk' - that was always his way of telling me off. We went three rounds of Hyde Park and Kensington Park. His view was that I'm from a Punjabi family, I lived in east India and that he purposely sent me to south India so that I could understand the cultures of our country and mix them together to create a fantastic cuisine. Now I had come to the UK and I was sitting on the fence, still borrowing things from India and not using anything from here. I looked at my menu and I was ashamed of what he was saying."
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