What chefs cook at home: Johnson Ebenezer and Sricharan VenkateshWhen acclaimed south Indian fine-dining restaurant Nadodi opened last year, the restaurants executive chef Johnson Ebenezer and chef de cuisine Sricharan Venkatesh wanted to offer Malaysian diners something a little different from the traditional Indian meals they were accustomed to. We wanted to recreate lost recipes and our childhood memories of certain meals, but not the authentic way. Instead we looked at how else we could enhance it, how else we could do it using other elements and techniques, but having that base memory of the original dish in mind, says Ebenezer. Both Ebenezer and his partner-in-crime Sricharan are from south India. The two worked the usual rungs of five-star hotels in India Ebenezer has worked in groups like Starwood and the Taj and on cruise liners while Sricharan had a stint at the vaunted Gaggan in Bangkok. At Nadodi, both chefs now finally have the chance to flex their creative muscles, using the backdrop of South Indian cuisine which they grew up eating, as their playground. Johnson Ebenezer (left) and Sricharan Venkatesh say their approach to cooking at home and in their restaurant is the same, except that at home, they make original versions of classic South Indian dishes, while at Nadodi, they rework and enhance traditional meals. We know the risk factor, were not using expensive ingredients, but we take the basics of what we eat at home and show people that this can be done the same way as how you have wagyu or truffle. So people might say This cant be on a fine-dining plate but here you find it in almost all our dishes and plates, its there somehow, says Sricharan.
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