Monday, September 30, 2013

On a Journey of Sensorial Experience

Though, the weekend is over and we are back to square one, which is Monday, we are still bringing to you some interesting feature related to yum cuisine, some great flavours, and the lovely experience of our fine dining. Yes, we are back to the "Women at Their Culinary Best" series, as we have once again a very interesting name in that list...
" I'm a Foodie and this is a very simple reason why I love my
profession so much," says Chef-de-Cuisine Ishika Konar!

Meet Chef-de-Cuisine Ishika Konar, from Pullman Gurgaon Central Park, who we recently shot with at the beautiful ambiance of the hotel's all-day dining restaurant - SEN5ES!!

It was a lovely afternoon spent over some great flavours that came straight from Konar's kitchen, well prepared by her team under her professional guidance. And, that's one of the reason's why we decided to bring her talent forth to our global readers.
Konar has been in this industry for more than a decade now, has seen the changing world of the professional kitchen in the hospitality industry, has worked on some international assignments to places that we shudder to think of, and last year she bagged the "Lady chef of the Year" award by Indian Culinary Forum...

Don't you feel that these are more than enough reasons to feature her in our best read series "Women at Their Culinary Best"?

Mixed Herb Salad with Warm Spiced Chicken
and Sun Blushed Tomatoes

But, that's just not enough, there is much more to her talent and her journey!!
Look at the picture to your left. This beautiful salad was here first preparation for our shoot that afternoon. That's when we decided to chat with her while she was busy preparing the next dishes. " I have been in this industry for than 11 years now, and I simply love what I do. It has been a real hard work, pure passion, and of course the support of family and friends that I could continue with what I love to do," she told.
During this course of interaction, and her preparation, we were trying the dishes at their beautiful restaurant, which had some amazing display of food all around. To be candid, it was all about food, Right from the entrance to the end, there were corners dedicated to specialties like salads, soups, Italian, Indian, snacks, fruits, desserts just to name a few. So, we picked a few from this display and got back to our table, just to catch hold of Konar further with her story. 
Warm Polenta & Orange infused Crispy Spring Chicken
with Lavender Mascarpone

" Professional kitchen is a challenge, be it a lady chef or the men in this kitchen, we all are always on toes. But,  for a woman it certainly is a bigger challenge, as she needs to have a very strong support at home to keep her going in this tough atmosphere. But, I feel that the industry too has changed a lot, today women have much more options in hospitality, they are well accepted, and even parents are finding this profession decent enough to go for," she explained.
We wanted to know how challenging it was for her to get into this, and she said, "Oh, I had a tough time, as I belong to the family where everyone is into education, and my mother was actually not convinced with this idea. For good three years when I was perusing my course, she did not tell anyone what exactly was I doing, but then today she is simply proud of me. and, that says all."
Red Pepper Risotto with Pan Seared Prawn
Later, she shared a few more interesting facts about the industry, and the awareness in the consumers today. " Today, we are actually asked to prepare to something magical right before the guests, so the challenges are there as people are well-travelled, they know everything about food, and they want to know all about what they are eating. So, if I'am heading a team, I need to have certain elements, certain maturity, and subtleness to deal with such pressures. But, it's not that tough, and men around are usually supportive. My husband is a chef too, he lives abroad, and is looking after 17 restaurants there, so sometimes I'm not just taking care of the emotions of my team, but of myself too," revealed Konar. Wow! Now, that's a challenge...
Green Tea Crème Brulee with Saffron Poached Pear

While Konar is taking care of these challenges so professional, there is another side of hers that we simply loved. You might actually wonder what exactly it is? If you noticed the dishes that she prepared for us, most of them have a touch of fruity & flowery flavours, be it a salad, or the main course dish, like this one with pear. " I love to play with fruits, and that's actually my USP," she said.
See, this is called the feminine side of a chef!

But, when it comes her kid (yes, she is a mom as well), Konar happily give the credits to her in-laws who look after her son in her absence, who like any other kids today is a hyperactive kid. " You see, I'm engaged in presenting quality and quantity all the time, and therefore it's very important to have a very strong support at home, especially when a woman is a mom too. I feel blessed as I have a family back there who understands the passion," she says.
And, what's the best she likes at home when she is back to her kid. " Thankfully, I don't have to cook, my mother-in-law makes sure of that, " sums Konar.

What You Must Know:
It's hard to believe, but Ishika Konar has spent some time in this industry, in a country like Afghanistan, where she was working in a hotel that was catering to the royals of the country. Wow! What can be a bigger challenge than this?

So, you can imagine what a fun afternoon we had at this beautiful hotel, amid some splendid flavours, coming straight from Konar's kitchen...


  1. She is my sister, my darling, shooting- star,Chef-de-Cuisine- I adore her.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. hi ishika madam...
    i am so proud of you....wish u all d good luckkkk

    apka kuttyyyyyy.............


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