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Exclusive Interview | Basu Somopriyo Chef at Landmark Group UAE

Editor: Tell us about your journey. How did it all start? 
It started when my dad who heads the mechanical engineering department in Dehradun, bought the hotel management form for me, showing his confidence on me that I would never crack the IIT-JEE. I cleared the hotel management examination with an all india ranking of under 200 & qualify for IHM Mumbai

Editor: What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry? 
Patience & hard work are two major pre requisite for this industry. Working in the kitchen is not at all easy, it not even 10% as fancy as what you see on the television or you tube. One really needs to toil himself to move up in this industry

Editor: What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring? 
Expectation. When I say expectation It does not means only money but it means the overall perspective of the person of what he wants to give in to his job like dedication, time, hard work, passion & what he wants in return like training, growth, job profile etc. It’s very often when we interview a hotel management graduate & ask him where he wants to see himself in 5 year from now & he says Executive Chef.

The problem lies here. His expectation is not realistic & he does not have a clear view of his future & industry. Of course he will realize it mid way & will get frustrated, this is the time when he wastes all his skill & knowledge which he gathered in last couple of years & decides to Quit.

Editor: What according to you can trainees do while they are training at hotels to make it a win-win for them & the hotel/unit?
Training is a golden opportunity for the aspiring hoteliers to understand the dynamics of the industry. Our industry is quite different from what we learn in our hotel school. It’s the time when you need to evaluate yourself & figure out where you stand in the industry. You should decide which department or specialty you want to excel in & start learning the same from micro level. I understand making stock & blanching vegetables is a boring job but this is from where you need to start. These minor & boring jobs give a strong foundation to your career.

When you are a training, you need to learn not to look at the watch & whenever you do see your watch it should not be to check how much time is left for you to go home but to check how much time is left for you to learn today & how to maximize your learning in the time left. Remember everyone can cook but only few become Chef

Editor: Tell us a little about your average day 
I am not an early riser & wake up around 0800 hrs. 1 hour I spend checking my mail & calling my near & dear ones back home. I am in my kitchen before 1100 hrs & check all misa-en-place & recipes cooked as per brand standards before we open for lunch. Post lunch we take stock of our inventory & do the ordering. We usually conduct training for our staff, food trials, menu planning, follow ups & meetings during this time.

There a lot of logs & documentation which we need to do especially if you are working abroad. We again set up the line & get prepared for a busy dinner before 1900 hrs.

Editor: How do keep abreast of all that is happening in hospitality? 
The best way is social networking. It really offer the world on your platter. Second is travelling. Travelling to different cities, counties & cultures gives you a firsthand experience & help you understanding the logic behind different styles

Editor: Two reasons why this industry is awesome! 
1) you will never die of hunger
2) you are always dealing with happiness.

Our industry in where people come to celebrate success, your clients are all riding in success & bringing positive energies to your work place & your life. Just imagine a doctor or a lawyer dealing with sick & disheartened people & problems every day.

Editor: Two things you would like to change about the industry. 
1) Working hours to be 9 hrs a day & 5 working days in a week
2) I think the pay scale in our industry still way behind if I compare to other sectors like retail, consulting etc