Behind the Brewpub ScenesSay hello to Keshav, our Chef de Partie at TPR!
Running a brewpub/concept restaurant isn’t easy- it’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat and the occasional tears.
There are a lot of good, earnest people working behind the scenes, who put in a great deal of effort, round-the-clock, to ensure that everything you love about stays that way.
And these people are none other than our never-tiring, ever-inspiring staff.
Meet the man responsible for serving your favourite comfort food in ways you wouldn’t have imagined possible—say hello to Tenzing – our cool and calm senior bartender at The Permit Room.
When did you join TPR?
I joined from the day the restaurant launched in 2016.
Where are you from?
I am from Nepal. I relocated to Uttaranchal, where I studied until 4th std. Family circumstances were such that I had to leave school and return home to help my family.
What has your journey been until now?
It’s a long and winding journey. But I have no complaints, I have enjoyed every moment of it, and the reason is food. Anyway, back to your question. I went to Dehradun when I was about 15 years. I began working in IndraLok Hotel as a helper in the kitchen. I left the hotel to join the Siraj Bakery where I learned everything about baking, breads and the importance of the perfect balance between wheat, water and yeast. After a few years in the bakery, I moved to Delhi and joined The Regent Holiday for five years as a commis 2. I then moved to Clarks Inn in Delhi for five years; then I moved to the flight kitchen in Bombay for nine years. I wanted to be closer to home and returned to Delhi for two to three years, but I never settled in any job. After much deliberation, I finally moved to TPR, and I’ve been here since.
What is your role at TPR?
I am a I am a Chef de Partie.
Did you have any prior experience working in a kitchen?
My entire life has been in the kitchen. To be precise, I have worked for 35 years in the kitchen with the same enthusiasm.
Did you always like cooking? Or you developed a passion here?
I love cooking food and feeding people good food. I want to focus on making good food. I don’t want a big name, but I know if I work well, I will make a name for myself.
What is a typical workday like?
I usually work the second shift. My job is all about planning before and ahead of time. I check on my station as soon as I come in, I check the mise en place, make the base gravies, check on the freshness of the vegetables, help the junior staff and guide them in becoming better chefs. I support the team wherever I am needed.
You seem to have a specialization in north Indian food, how was the shift to South Indian food?
When we started this restaurant, the head chef made me sit with him for 2 hours every day for an entire week explaining the concept of the restaurant. He made me taste many dishes so that my palette could understand this cuisine, which would help me in the future to cook. If you think about it, there are similarities between north Indian and south Indian food, a lot of the basic masalas are the same. But here, coconut, curry leaves, kokum, tamarind and black mustard seeds are also used a lot.
What do you do on your day off?
I stay in a bungalow close to The Permit Room. There are rooms in the cottage which are given out on rent to travellers. Many times, I cook breakfast for visitors. and some people come there to stay, so I prepare food for them.
What do you like other than cooking?
Nothing else makes me happier than cooking!
How has your experience in TPR been so far?
Bilkul mast (‘First Class!’)! I like it here, and that’s the reason I am here. Otherwise, I am like a udta panchi! (free bird).
Do you go home often?
Yes, every year without fail. I miss my children. I have four kids – 2 boys and two girls. They are beautiful, and I think about them very often. We talk every day on the phone. I am not literate, but I will make sure all of them are well educated. My dream is to make all of the chefs, so they experience the joy I feel when I cook. But who knows what they will want to pursue? I go home for a month. Time flies fast when I am there. I wake up early morning and eat breakfast with the children. I go to my farm, and I spend time helping with whatever is needed. There are so many things to do there.
Have you made any plans for the future?
Yes, I want to open a farmhouse which will be like a homestay with a small kitchen where I will cook, entertain my guests and show them my motherland.