Monthly Industry Insights
Hear from industry leaders their guilty pleasures, the oddest thing in their refrigerator, their inspirations and take on new trends. We've asked all of questions and have the answers for you here.
View archived interviews.
April's Featured Interview: Manjit Manohar, The Pierre Hotel
Chef Manjit was the champion of the first Rapid Fire Challenge: Appetizer Edition at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York that took place in March.
What made you want to become a chef?
I inherited cooking from my mother who spent a lot of time in kitchen after her work as she used to host a lot of guests everyday.I learned basic nuances of kitchens while doing errands with my mom.
I grew up in India and like others I also wanted to become an engineer but randomly I gave a try to Hotel school and got selected and pursued to become a chef from there.
What was your favorite class in culinary school?
Since I have a sweet tooth - bakery and confectionery was my favorite class because end of the class our instructor would let us eat and bring it home.
What is the newest trend you see emerging?
Ancient grains like barley, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum are powerhouses. They contain rich source of proteins and fibers and are evolving as a new breakfast staple.
What’s the strangest thing we would find in your refrigerator?
I think it has to be a my mother's home made tomato ketchup which I use generously.
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy
Is there one comfort food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home?
Roasted eggplant with chickpea flour fritters
Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?
Swimming. I want to learn but I think I am too scared with water.
What’s your favorite meal to cook for friends?
A spicy lamb stew with rice pilaf - although it takes a lot of time to prep, it's easy to execute...especially when I want to spend time with my friends and have a good time
Who was your mentor as you were becoming a chef?
My mother...she never liked my food but she always gave me constructive feedback which helped me become the chef I am today.
If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
Legendary chef Ferran Adria
Chef Manjit receives the Rapid Fire Award
More about Chef Manjit Manohar:
Born in Jharkhand, India, Chef Manjit learned cooking as a child from his mother who used to host many guests and gatherings.
His cooking style and technique come from watching her. Although his mother never encouraged cooking or even let him into the kitchen, he decided to pursue it as a profession. He holds Bachelors in Hospitality Management from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Jaipur, India.
He has taken part in the Taj Management Training Program and trained under many chefs from regional Indian cuisine to French, Thai, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean. Currently Chef Manjit holds the role of the Executive Sous Chef at The Pierre Hotel.
March Insights - Chef Justine MacNeil, Del Posto
February Insights - Chef Stephen Yen, Paige Hospitality Group
January Insights - Chef Amanda Martin, Leoness Cellars
November Insights - Michelle Noble, Le Cordon Bleu
October Insights - James McGuinness, Keiser University
September Insights - Norman Van Aken, NORMAN'S
August Insights - Richard Pink, Pink's Hot Dogs
July Insights - Keith Breedlove, Culinerdy Cruzer
June Chef Insights - Rob Valencia, Great Performances
May Chef Insights - Marc Murphy, Benchmarc Restaurants
April Chef Insights - Megan Johnson, Casellula
March Chef Insights - Sara Moulton, Chef, Cookbook Author, TV Personality
February Chef Insights - Barret Beyer, Hell's Kitchen
January Chef Insights - Anton Testino, Mulberry Street Cafe
November Chef Insights - David Binkle, Los Angeles Unified School District
October Chef Insights - Alan Ogard, Lexington Hotel
September Chef Insights - Barbie Marshall, The Farming Chef
August Chef Insights - Cal DeMercurio, Corporate Executive Chef, Black Bear Diner
July Chef Insights - Johannes Bernau, Executive Chef, Who Song & Larry's
June Chef Insights - Ryan Vargas, Chef de Cuisine at Emeril's Tchoup Chop