The most emerging questions and parallelly not answered in Nepalese Chef Fraternity these days is ” why star hotels are not serving Nepalese Food to their VVIP guest while head of the state or president came to Nepal . And why there is no Nepalese food in Menu that is set to VVIP’s by hotels ?
Nepalese food is very rich with its ethnicity, culture and religious value. As we all know, Nepal is a country with many culture and religion living together supporting each other beliefs, which makes the different culture and cuisine blend together and form a amazingly diversified Taste of Nepal.
Many chefs’ organization are working their best to develop the Nepalese food value and Promote Nepalese food in the world’s map. Chefs are working to develop the standard menu (SOP) from their level. Some Nepalese Chefs working in aboard are also influenced and approaching to promote Nepalese cuisine in their workplace.
Chef Santosh Shah has presented the Nepalese cuisine in a MasterChef Professional UK 2020 and proved that Nepalese taste can also be served in a fine dining table if we modernized its plating and presentation. Judges in the show had always praised Chef Shah for his Nepalese food presentation and encouraged him for presenting the Taste of Nepal.
Nepalese people are well known in the world as “Gorkhas”, a brave warier of all time. It was believed that, if Gorkhas’ are supporting your battle field then you are certainly a winner. While saying this, does anyone linked this with food value? Yes, to be physically strong, the most important part is food habit. So, there is no doubt that Nepalese food has a immense value nutritionally as well.
The major question is why we are lacking to serve Nepalese food in star hotels of Nepal then?
Are our Chefs not capable of serving Nepalese food?
Or there is no demand in market?
So what’s the real situation here?
Searching about these questions, today we approach to Chef Yuba Raj Pokharel, Executive Chef of Soaltee Hotel. One of the most disciplined, decent, humble and hardworking executive in Nepalese Chef society. He has served many people in his career including the VIP, VVIP’s and International government authorities.
According to Chef Pokharel, Nepalese food should be well defined and the authentic value should remain with ingredients, flavor and taste. Proper research should be done and standard should be develop before serving to plate. A chef is a scientist, artist, manager, engineer and a nutritionist too. But to find the ethnicity, we must visit to remote areas where there is no access of transportation. Only in those places we will find the real Nepalese flavor and taste, because those places don’t have the influence of international ingredients. And to develop the recipe, there must be a team of Chef, Food Scientist, Geologist and a support from government level.
He has also discussed some of his mix experiences while serving to state level guests Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi ,Sheikh Hasina , Prime Minister of Bangladesh and others . He pointed that there is no any problem to serve Nepalese food in a authentic or modern way, if menus work according to the plan of chef. But things get wrong when there is middle person finalizing the menu, who are assigned to arrange those food and logistic by Nepal government , who interferes in role and responsibility of chef and their menu planning and wanted to add their own without knowing the food value and sequence. That’s where the loophole arise and food cannot be served in a well mannered. In a gist, Nepalese food is not being able to serve in VVIPs table.
Written by Chef Bikash Dangol – Mentor @ IHM