By Ruchira Hoon
Despite being torn between two professions – being a journalist or a chef, at 17, Megha Kohli knew exactly what she wanted. She’d barely graduated from school at Convent of Jesus and Mary when she enrolled herself in to the STEP program by the Oberoi Hotels. While she worked at The Oberoi, Udaivilas she went one step ahead to get another degree at The Oberoi Center for Learning and Development, or the OCLD as its otherwise known as, and the rest as they say is history.
“It’s true, I have been in the kitchen since I was 17, but it wasn’t until I had worked in the bigger kitchens of Travertino and the Oberoi Patisserie, did I figure out what I wanted to do, ” says this spunky 26-year-old. She decided to shake things up and ended up applying to Olive in Delhi while Chef Sabyasachi Gorai was still around. “It was almost like it was meant to be. He was so eager to teach and I just wanted to learn. He became my mentor, so when he left Olive, I did too.”
She joined Fabrica, Chef Saby’s consultancy and helped out with a number of projects until he decided to launch Lavaash by Saby. “Then, it was a never-ending process of reading, learning, researching and trying out new recipes, because I was totally new to this cuisine,” she says. “I am now looking forward to travelling to both Armenia and Kolkata and learning a few new things.”
Between being one of the youngest female chefs in India, and trying to learn new things, Megha barely gets any time off to do something new. “I spend a lot of time with my family whenever I get the chance because I hardly get to see them. Otherwise I wish I could spend all my money travelling.”
So what are the three things Megha recommends to home cooks?
- Always read the recipe completely. Unless you exactly what you’re making it’s best to stick to what you started.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. Tastes changes from region to region, it’s always a good idea to open your palate, taste new things and cook!
- Cook with your heart. Food will always taste better.
To check out recipes by Chef Megha Kohli click here.