It was 18 years ago that Indigo restaurant opened its doors to the public. Over the years it has cemented itself as one the most prominent fine dining restaurants in the city. At the helm of this roaring success is Chef Jaydeep Mukherjee who has been associated with the brand since 2002. On the restaurant’s 18th anniversary we sat down with Chef Jaydeep to talk about his inspirations, cooking style and a lot more.
LL – Indigo is celebrating its 18 years and you have been the force behind it, how does it feel to see it grow to this level?
Chef JD – It is a very happy feeling. While Indigo is celebrating 18 years, the Delis don’t lag way behind – they’ve in their 12th year! An incredible amount of good food has happened in the interim and we’re still on our toes every lunch and dinner across all our outlets! It’s extremely satisfying to acknowledge this kind of fan following, faith and trust from our guests!
– You love traveling, among all your journeys which is the cuisine that has and still strikes a chord with your heart?
Journeys to rural India – to the far North and North Eastern Himalayas as also down south to the hills of Munnar and Thekkady have been overwhelmingly gratifying gastronomic experiences. To name a particular Cuisine would not be fair and would not do justice to the amazing culinary experiences I have had on travels. Smoked pork belly in the hills of Meghalaya, pickled beef from the Nilgiris, fermented bamboo rice from Nagaland, unidentifiable meat Thupka in the freezing cold of Ladakh, Satays from bicycle vendors and ‘Rujak’, the street style Indonesian fruit salad with fish paste in Bintan and Batam, endless bowls of Ramen and some of the best Charsui and south east Asian streetfood in Singapore – the list could go on and on!
– How would you describe your style of cooking?
Honest simple and tasty food sans frills and whistles. I like cooking with local produce.
– Was your decision of becoming a chef a conscious one or you think you just fell for it?
It wasn’t even a decision! It’s the only thing I wanted to do – cook! So from one day to another I did things that finally took me to hotel school and into professional kitchens.
– The popularity of the Indigo has inspired many young chefs and entrepreneurs, what would you say to them?
I believe amazing things are being done in the Food and beverage business by people who have had no initiation in the business! Their concepts and endeavors are brave and not colored by the inevitable clutter one picks up in any trade! I wouldn’t dare advise them. The only little thing I wish to share with young Chefs and entrepreneurs would be to be grounded and true to their convictions and food philosophies, and to support local – in whatever way possible!
– Since the inception of indigo, has the menu changed radically or remained the same? What would be your most favorite creation on the plate?
The menu at Indigo has changed almost two dozen times since its inception. While the food philosophy has remain un-changed, cooking techniques, kitchen equipment and paraphernalia and styles of presentation have changed drastically! The new menu has seen a lot of hard work from the entire team and every dish is close to my heart. The camembert soufflé with warm mushroom salad, the platter of fresh and local seafood, the pork belly are just a few of my favorite dishes on the menu.
– What inspires you to give your best at work?
The fact that I have an immense amount of fun doing what I do probably does! To add to that I have extremely talented teams not only in the kitchens but also in Operations, Marketing, PR, Stores, Projects et all, that support me in my day to day functioning!
4, Mandlik Rd, Colaba, Behind Taj Mahal Hotel,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Phone: 022 6636 8999