How many times have you looked at a boring office lunch and wished there was something better? Well, chances are always. And this is exactly what Sushil Multani, Executive Chef, Savor Experiences is looking to change by giving superlative dining experiences in different formats.
Changing dynamics of food in India has meant that diners today have a deeper insight into what good food means. And it is exactly this ethos that Savor Experiences caters to. With options like Savor Lunch, a lunch subscription service, Savor Secret Supper, a supper club; and Savor Experiences, an event company, it is all about giving patrons a unique food experience and Sushil Multani does just that.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, he completed his high school with a major in science but it was his passion for the culinary arts that drove him to make a smooth transition from the laboratory to the kitchen. “Born and brought up in Mumbai. I grew up with very strong value system and my parents always taught us to do right things. The family loves cooking and eating and hence food plays a very important role in our lives. Till date, though being a chef for 12 years now my father selects each fruit or vegetable that comes home and he surely knows the produce really well. I learnt it from him to select the right vegetable as per seasonality.”
Starting as a Kitchen Executive at The Oberoi, Nariman Point, working at The Oberoi, Dubai, where he assisted in setting up the kitchen base and kick started their operations and heading Botticino, the Italian specialty restaurant at Trident, Bandra Kurla, he now heads the kitchens at Savor. “I was born in a Sindhi family where food is respected and savoured. Good food, buying vegetables with gran parents and eating together as a family has been a great part of my childhood. To us as a community, eating dinner together is like a celebration and also a discussion forum where everyone talks about their day. We would look forward to Kadhi Chawal and Arbi Tuk on Sunday for the entire week. Coming from such a background I loved seeing what went into cooking. It is not only the ingredients but love which attracted me and I decided to be a chef.”
At IHM Goa, Sushil was taught to value the skill and work as team which helped him get the ‘Best Chef of the Year’ award across all colleges in India. “I joined Wildflower Hall, An Oberoi Resort in the Himalayas. The three years there shaped me into a professional chef and I never looked back. Later, I was selected into the reputed The Oberoi Center of Learning and Development (OCLD) and cleared it with a gold medal. OCLD brushed off my sharp edges to make me a professional Chef. From there I have worked and headed best kitchens in the country.”
His stint at Savor has been close to two years now and Sushil admits that operations at Savor are very different than a hotel or a restaurant. “With every dinner we do it is like setting up a new restaurant, but just for a night. The best part is it keeps us on our toes to innovate and keep trying something new. It pushes to our limits to do best every time. Hence we have been doing dinner since last seven years and our dinners have always been sold out.”
Naturally being in a role like this is not without its challenges. “The two things that are very critical to a good food business are good people and good quality ingredients. We at Savor invest maximum on these two and make sure that they are never compromised. Finding the right people and getting the best quality produce in time from the farm or producer is where we face challenges. We are slowly getting better at both.” And quiz him about what has been his toughest meal to date and he says, “the most challenging meal was a 18 course degustation menu for a well-travelled family. Part of the family was vegetarian and that made it 30 dishes. The dinner went on for four hours.”
A family man, Sushil has two kids, his 11 month old daughter and a three year old son and he admits that time after work is spent with his wife and parents. “We usually go out and try a new restaurant or watch a movie.” When I ask him what his advice is to aspiring chefs, he is clear. “The only set advice is to concentrate on the basics of cooking, keep growing and learning along while perfecting the art at the same time. The rest will fall in place.”