Conrad Bengaluru brings an exclusive menu curated by celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani. This limited menu is crafted by Chef Prasad Mehtrani, the Director Culinary Conrad Bengaluru and Chef Vicky Ratnani, expressing their love for all things fresh and flavourful. An a la carte menu, TIAMO X Vicky Ratnani XOXO will house exclusive Italian Californian dishes. Paying homage and celebrating local agro ecology and produce of India, the menu embraces concepts and ideas by Chef Vicky and Chef Prasad, further integrating sustainable practices. Bringing together the elements where food is celebrated for its rich yet exquisite flavours, the menu crafted seeks to create a sense of uniqueness. The new dining concept consists of flavourful combinations worth devouring. The menu will include a few specials such as – Whole Baked Brie, Trilogy of Funghi, River Scampi, Lobster Fra Diavolo, Celery root and Asparagus Tortilla to name a few.

Chef Vicky Ratnani

1. What led you to pursue a career in the food industry?
I believe that a zeal for good food led to a passion for cooking, as well as the idea of entertaining others and meeting new people. I genuinely think that is why I became a chef; I enjoy eating and experimenting with new foods. At school, I used to eat all my classmates’ tiffin. I knew what was cooking in every apartment in my building. I was always surrounded by delicious food. My grandmothers on both sides, as well as my aunties, all had a massive influence on me. That’s how and where it all began.

2. How long has it been, and how was the journey? What are the highlights of your journey thus far?
There have been many highlights, ranging from being the star employee of the month at my first job to working as Nelson Mandela’s personal chef. Overseeing the largest restaurant ever built at sea was a highlight, as was being the Cunard Line’s first Indian executive chef. My first TV show and cookbook are both incredibly special to me. Om publications have just released my second cookbook, “Urban Desi Non-Vegetarian” on Amazon.

3. How do you keep innovating and reinventing every time? Which countries have you visited and drawn inspiration from?
I used to work on ships and luxury ocean liners that have circumnavigated the globe seven times. I travel extensively throughout the country. In fact, after Bangalore, it will be Switzerland, Thailand, and Japan. I think my inspiration comes from continuing to learn and follow what chefs across the world are doing. I follow the seasons and get ideas from the market, people, and places. So, to learn new things, I strongly feel you must be universally open to change. That is the crucial point.

4. What are the most recent food industry trends?
There are numerous increasingly interested in vegetarianism and veganism, which is becoming more prominent. People are advocating for healthier foods. They’re inquisitive about where their food is produced from. Everyone is becoming an eco-warrior because of what is happening in the world regarding global warming, inflation, and other factors. So, I believe that if individuals become more cognizant about what they eat and where they eat, they will be able to eat much healthier. People want to support their own culture. Micro cuisines are emerging from the shadows.

5. Any advice to the budding chefs?
So, follow your heart’s desire and keep reading and learning. On the Internet, there is a great deal going on. It entails not only reading books, but also following chefs, practicing, and learning to innovate. You’re in the wrong profession if all you desire to do is to be a TV chef or learn to cook so you can be on TV. Because it requires a lot of work. The hospitality industry is the hardest working. The kitchen is completely focused on work. So, only if you enjoy cooking and would like to serve others should you consider becoming a chef.

Chef Prasad Metrani, Culinary Director, Conrad Bengaluru

1. What led you to pursue a career in the food industry?
I have been an ardent food enthusiast since my childhood. My interest in food prompted me to visit my neighbour’s house to see what kinds new of dishes my friend’s mother had prepared. I also remember that I was the first person to initiate the community table at my school which helped me taste and crave different cuisines. My greatest inspiration has been my mother. I used to help her in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. This was the start of my understanding of the science of food. Only in 2004, under the guidance of PR Sandilyan and Vivek Ganti, did I decide to pursue a career as a chef.

2. How long has it been, and how was the journey? What are the highlights of your journey thus far?

My career as a professional culinarian has spanned 17 years, with assignments in various parts of India and abroad. Mentorship is very crucial in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, and I have been fortunate to have worked under great leaders. Even though I spent 17 years in the kitchen, my passion for food always keeps me high, creative, innovative, and in the best of spirits. I have had the great privilege to work for great luxury brands such as Taj, Seabourn, Grand Hyatt, Fairmont, Raffles, and now Conrad Bengaluru.

3. How do you keep innovating and reinventing every time? Which countries have you visited and drawn inspiration from?

Classic food preparation has always been a great source of inspiration for my creativity and reinvention. I am mostly inspired by chefs from all over the world, local produce, deep-rooted recipes from the local community, social media, and my mother, who is the driving force behind all of this. I’ve travelled extensively in the Mediterranean (UAE, Greece, Morocco, Turkey, South Italy, Egypt) and Southeast Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam) and have developed a fascination with the food and beverage concepts in these countries, particularly modern Australian cuisine.

4. What are the most recent food industry trends?

In today’s food industry, it’s about being authentic, using local produce as key ingredients, plant-based alternatives that are gaining popularity, rediscovering, and celebrating forgotten traditional recipes. The entire food industry is nowadays inclining towards locally grown food. Our concept helps diners contribute to the local Indian farming community that produces food in a sustainable and organic fashion. Another major trend that is gathering steam is the rediscovery of deep-rooted home recipes, which help communities retrace the lineage of dishes that have been lost over time. It makes everyone nostalgic. It evokes nostalgia in everyone.

5. Any advice to the budding chefs?

Continue to concentrate on your work and give it your all. To feed creativity, one must consume knowledge. Strive for excellence and remember that perseverance leads to success.

6. What has your work in the south of India been like?

Bengaluru is my favourite destination in the south, and I am very impressed with the local culture, cuisine, and nature. I am intrigued by the local delicacy, and I am eager to learn more.

7. What aspects of south Indian cuisine do you enjoy and incorporate into your various dishes?

I adore the essence of the four regions; they share almost identical ingredients, but the dishes prepared have distinct flavours and preparation styles. Due to the cooking techniques and spices, it is also regarded as a healthy cuisine. We recently took over the authentic Ramassery Idli concept and incorporated it into our breakfast menu, which has been well received by our guests.

8. What is your personal favourite dish? What are your favourite dishes that diners rave about and are absolute must-try?

Tiamo’s Lobster Risotto, Braised Lamb Shanks, Butter Garlic Prawns, Sushi & Sashimi, Dim sum, and tempuras at Mikusu, and Indian kebabs at Indian Darbar are my personal favourites.

9. Who are some of the celebrities that have dined with you, and what did they say about your food?

Many celebrities have dined here over the last decade and a half; however, Sara Ali Khan is one of the most recent. Sara thoroughly relished the Steamed Seabass. Huma Quershi was overjoyed about the Laal Maas.

10. Can you enlighten us on the concept behind TIAMO X Vicky Ratnani?

The core idea behind TIAMO x Vicky Ratnani XOXO is elevated casual dining. It is a fresh dining concept that combines an Italian and Californian style of cuisine alongside India’s own agricultural produce. It is a tribute to the vibrant Indian culinary tradition and the hardworking Indian farmers. Chef Vicky Ratnani and I have partnered with local farmers and India’s leading start-up entrepreneurs to create this delightful high-end menu. Through our strategy, we enable diners to support our local Indian agrarian community, which produces food organically and sustainably.

Collaborations offer excellent learning experiences for not only the chefs but also the entire hosting team. It is a chance to exchange ideas and converse over food at a time when people are far more confined than they are accustomed to. It enables Conrad Bengaluru’s younger generation to learn from India’s most celebrated chef, who has travelled the world extensively. His exceptional recipes and cooking methods must be passed down to future generations.

Where: Conrad Bengaluru.
When: This thoughtfully curated menu will be available from 5th – 9th October 2022 during lunch and dinners.
For reservations, Call: +91 8884463819, +91 8884400194.