Cinnamon Grand welcomes new Indian chef

Friday, 29 August 2014 01:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Cinnamon Grand Colombo’s Chutneys is acknowledged as Sri Lanka’s first five-star South Indian restaurant offering specialities from the four primary states of South India – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. What better way to further enhance this experience at this plush restaurant,than enjoying the daily fare turned out by the new chef from South India, whose memories of his grown up years are laced with the thick aroma of garam masala and other exotic ingredients from his rich Indian culinary heritage. Born in Tamil Nadu, Chef M. Kadhiranan known among his peers both here and abroad as Chef Kadhir brings years of expertise to Chutneys kitchen, churning out South Indian cuisine that are authentic and delicious. Although his experience as a chef is only ten years, his involvement of cooking South Indian fare goes way back, to his school days. “It was only my brother and I in my family. We had no sisters. As a result I used to cook when my mother was at work,” Chef Kadhir asserted. As a result this, he mastered dishes popular to the region, while his interest in the profession grew. “Soon after college I went on to study hotel management because I was determined to learn the ABCs of hospitality.” Fresh out of university, he embarked on his culinary journey, starting at industrial catering, cooking for 700-800 people per day. Preparing all three meals along with a few others, they made close to 800 litres of sambar per meal. “I joined as a kitchen assistant,” Kadhir acknowledged. “Although it was hard work, at the end of the day we felt proud to have cooked for so many people.” He also got a chance to play with spices and learn different methods of cooking while working there. Kadhir’s break came when he moved to Malaysia to work in the restaurant chain, ‘Passage Thru India’ which had several eateries around the country. Owing to his passion and love for Indian food, he managed to grow his expertise and went on to manage ‘Mumbai Grill’, a subsidiary of Passage Thru India within a year. “During my three and a half stint there I specialised in multi-cuisine,” he said. Back home in India, he moved to Chennai where he dedicated his hours to focus and excel at South Indian cuisine.” His last stint before coming to Sri Lanka was at seven-star, ITC Grand Chola in Chennai. Just a month since he started at Cinnamon Grand, Kadhir assured that he is ecstatic to be able to share his love with the Sri Lankan community. “Chutneys offer a spread of dishes, featuring the best regional specials of the four states of South India. This means I can really show Sri Lankans truly authentic dishes in the regions without any barriers,” he said. Describing the differences of the four states, Kadhir explained: “Tamil Nadu cuisine uses a lot of masala in its cooking. Sesame and peanut oil, commonly used as groundnut cultivation are high in the area. The food are also steamed majority of the time.” Kerala known as God’s own country is surrounded by rivers and lakes and as a result has a high-yielding coconut production. The dishes are therefore influenced by coconuts and are mildly spicy compared to Tamil Nadu cuisine. The extremely spicy dishes are from Andhra Pradesh with its cooking utilising red chillies in almost all dishes. Hyderabad biryani is also a speciality from here. “From Karnataka comes dishes made using kokum and a special red chilli which is of medium level in spiciness.” What Kadhir brings to the table is knowledge on a wide-spread array of these dishes. “I am so excited to recreate the memories of my homeland here. Through Chutneys I will offer all that I have inherited from my ancestors in a five-star setting for a memorable experience for Sri Lankans and all Indian food lovers to truly enjoy. For reservations at Chutneys, contact 011-2497372. Pinterest link: