Home Chef Navin’s Catering Tips

Chef Navin’s Catering Tips

Chef Navin’s Catering Tips
by Thump

Introducing Chef Navin

After completing his Diploma in Hotel Management from IHM Bombay, Navin was selected to train with Oberoi Center of Learning and Development as a Kitchen Executive Trainee. Upon completing his training, he was awarded the Gold medal for being the Top Trainee, he then proceeded to join the same school as a Chef Trainer, where he successfully trained some top chefs having Michelin stars at the moment.

In 1993 Navin became Chef at New Delhi’s premier Indian restaurant ‘Kandahar’ in The Oberoi Hotel, thereafter moving on to become Head Chef of the Indian Kitchens.  During this time, Navin conducted Indian Food Festivals in Mauritius, Kuala Lumpur and Zurich, as well as training programmes and organizational restructuring studies for The Oberoi Group of Hotels.  A major career boost in 1998 saw Navin become Executive Chef to The Oberoi Maidens Hotel in Delhi, and later in the same year he made his way to London after being head hunted by an award winning restaurant group, Cafe Lazeez.

Over the years, Navin has set new foundations for Indian cuisine and is regarded as one of the leading new wave Indian chefs in the UK with a natural flair for exciting, innovative cuisine that caters to the more health conscious diner. In 2008 Navin set about creating his own restaurant at the Grade 2 listed Dockmasters House in Canary Wharf in London.

Since closing his restaurant in 2013, Navin has become a consultant, developing new concepts and products for different companies until he became the full time Head Development Chef at IEF.

Travelling and eating has been Navin’s passion and he regularly visits Italy, Spain and Germany on work and foody trips. With his knowledge about food from different parts of the world he is a consummate chef to help and develop new food concepts.

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How to stop your spices from burning

When using dried spices that are powdered, they can burn easily. Mix your spices with 2-3 tablespoons of water before roasting to prevent this.

How to make fluffy rice

Always wash and soak basmati rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help your rice keep its length and be fluffy.

How to use saffron

When you’re using saffron, soak the strands in lukewarm water or milk for 30 minutes. This will give the best aroma and colour and use the saffron to its best ability. 

How to tenderise meat

Before marinating  meat for flavour, you should marinate it to make it beautifully tender. Choose either of these marinades for tenderising:

  • Salt, ginger, garlic, lemon
  • Raw papaya with the skin
  • Freshly grated nutmeg and ginger

How to get bright white rice

For a wonderfully white coloured rice, add a little lemon juice when it is boiling for a bright colour.

How to make your dish milder

When you add fresh chilli to your dish, remove the seeds and the white lining to create a milder flavour.

Reduce salt in a curry or sauce

If by mistake the curry has become salty, cut a potato into large chunks and add to the sauce then cook for 10-15 minutes on slow heat, the potato will absorb the salt. remove potato pieces to get a perfect sauce.

How to cook perfect Basmati rice

Wash the rice in running lukewarm water until all the milkiness is washed away, soak for 30 minutes. drain the rice and put in a thick bottom pan, add boiling water until it reaches 1inch above the surface of rice, add salt and a small piece of butter and bring to a boil. reduce the heat and cook the rice until all water is absorbed and holes form on the surface. reduce the heat to absolute low, cover the surface of rice with a paper kitchen towel and put a lid. allow to cook for 7 minutes, remove from heat and let it sit for further 5 minutes, fork the rice to get perfect fluffy rice