Samir Sadekar, sous chef at London's Tamarind restaurant

23 June 2005
Samir Sadekar, sous chef at London's Tamarind restaurant

Samir Sadekar, 36, joined three-Michelin-starred Tamarind in November 2002. He has overseen three menu changes since joining, and now heads up the restaurant's outdoor catering business.

Sadekar works 10 to 14 hours, sometimes more, six days a week, and his first duties when arriving at work involve checking the walk-in refrigerator's temperature, counting supplies and signing off deliveries as required.

As sous he also checks the restaurant bookings and lets the rest of the staff know who's in, making sure any special requests are handled. Typically after lunch he'll go through his paperwork, cost menus for outdoors, answer e-mails and address any staff issues.

His career began in August 1993 as a kitchen executive trainee at the ITC Maurya Sheraton hotel in New Delhi, which was owned by Welcomgroup, where he worked in all areas of the kitchen.

He'd started on the road to working in hospitality by helping his mother out at home, learning the basics of cooking in the process.

But it took a meeting with a hospitality student to get him thinking about a career. "I found his study material really interesting and realised that I could make a career in the hospitality industry," he says.

Sadekar made the most of the training Sheraton franchisee Welcomgroup had to offer, and took an advanced course in food production and management.

On graduation he left the Maurya Sheraton to take up a post at the company's Chola Sheraton hotel as junior sous chef in August 1995.

By June 1998 he had moved to the ITC Park Sheraton hotel in Chennai as sous chef, where he was in charge of the Residency restaurant. He had been at the hotel as junior sous chef since April 1997.

An avid reader of catering magazines from the UK, Sadekar was excited by the restaurant scene in England and decided to take the plunge and become part of the buzz.

"When I'm in the kitchen at Tamarind, it feels no different from one in India as I'm working with Indian chefs and Indian food," says Sadekar.

"The difference lies in the way we prepare and present food here. It's much more refined and you can really taste the individual flavours of the dish."

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