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Revelations: Omkar Mestry, executive head chef, Hilton London Tower Bridge

11 December 2020
Revelations: Omkar Mestry, executive head chef, Hilton London Tower Bridge

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Kande pohe: kande is onion and pohe are rice flakes, which are tempered with mustard seeds, spiced with turmeric and green chillies and garnished with fresh grated coconut, coriander leaves and a generous squeeze of lime. It transports me back to my childhood – it's one of the many staple dishes eaten in Maharashtrian families in India

What's your favourite hotel?

The Hilton Budapest – the property has so much history, the location and the view is great, the staff are very welcoming and the food and service are brilliant

What is your favourite drink?

A Mojito – virgin though, as I don't drink alcohol

What is your favourite food/cuisine?

Indian – especially authentic Konkani/Malvani cuisine from the western coast of Maharashtra

What flavour combinations do you detest?

Pickled fish – I admire people who brave it, but it's not for me!

Which person in catering have you most admired?

My culinary professor Kaviraj Khialani, who guided me to be a chef. Also my former executive chefs: Vernon Strachan, Andrew McGee and Christopher Jefferson

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

My mum and my wife – one works very hard and the other works very smart. I want to be both

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

A farmer, with his own little farm somewhere in the lush mountains, by a river, with minimal needs and living off self-cultivated fresh produce

Tell us a secret...

I snore a lot – it's unbearable – and my wife will vouch for that

What irritates you most about the industry?

Politics and favouritism. Everyone should be judged according to their talent and not bias

Who would play "you" in a film about your life?

Ryan Reynolds

What's your favourite book?

Larousse Gastronomique

What is your favourite prepared product?

Pringles

If you had more time, what would you do?

Learn to swim, travel to different countries, maybe get an allotment

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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