In conversation with S.Pellegrino Award finalist

Etihad Airways chef Sanjay Thankur is one of the two top ten finalists from the UAE for MENA region

One of Sanjay Thakur's culinary creations.
One of Sanjay Thakur's culinary creations.

Etihad Airways chef Sanjay Thankur is one of the two top ten finalists from the UAE for S.Pellegrino Young Chef Awards 2015 from MENA region. We spoke to him to find out about his culinary journey and aspirations

How did your culinary journey start?

I earned my diploma and training in food production in Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, and then moved to Australia for further studies. I completed my hospitality studies on side and started working with Langham hotel in Melbourne on live cooking counters

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Where have you worked until now?

In the last six years, I have worked at crown casino banquets, Nobu Melbourne, Belluci's, Cafe Vue and few others. I have worked alongside star chefs like Atul Kochhar, Shannon Bennett, Geoffrey Zakarian and David Burke. I also represented India in Bocuse d'Or Asia pacific 2014.

Why did you participate in S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award 2015?

Participation in S.Pellegrino was my opportunity to showcase my journey through food and a platform for me to shine as an individual.

What was the inspiration for your dish?

Inspiration was my travel experiences and my addiction to spices.

How does it feel to make it through round one?

I was very happy to go through the first round as it's not easy to put across your feelings and experiences in a dish. But I managed to, and am very happy about it.

Why do you think you will win this award?

I think I can win this competition. My dish has a unique approach, not just in presentation but also in terms of taste and balance of spices. I want to show the wonders a perfect combination of spices can do.

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