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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Inspiration - Meet The One-Of-Her-Kind Chef Bringing Karnataka’s Dishes to Five-Star Tables.



It’s nearly lunchtime, stomachs are rumbling, and Jyothi is cooking in the kitchen. She adds a little salt to one dish and then turns around to stir the pot bubbling with rasam on the other side. It is just another usual day for the 37-year-old homemaker but there is a slight difference—the ones waiting for lunch to get ready and be served are not Jyothi’s family members but guests at a five-star hotel in Bengaluru.

In this exclusive conversation with The Better India, Jyothi shares her journey to becoming a chef, her passion for food, and a recipe, especially for our readers.
Jyothi shares that she did not receive any formal training in the culinary arts, but her talent was spotted purely by chance! “My husband was a wedding caterer and I would go along with him to the choultry (wedding hall) and help out in the wedding-food preparation. This continued for a while, until a person at one of the weddings ate the food and asked me if I would be willing to work at the Taj hotel in Bengaluru.”

Six years ago Jyothi walked into the Taj unaware of how a professional kitchen functioned, how food was plated and served at an upscale hotel.
I make the same food that I would at home, the only difference is the portion sizes,” she says with a laugh.
When asked what all she makes, pat comes the reply, “Akki roti, Ragi dosa, Bissi Bela Bath, different types of saaru. I also make sweet obbattu and various other kinds of traditional sweets and savouries.”
                      
Jyothi’s work typically starts at noon each day and goes on till 10.30 every night. “I enjoy what I do and do not look at it as a job,” she says.

What keeps Jyothi motivated is the number of customers who ask for her to compliment her on the food that she prepares. “I feel very satisfied when a customer comes and tells me that they enjoyed their meal. This is exactly what I am cooking for,” she says.

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