“I love food, and cooking has always been my passion. So, I turned My Passion into my Profession.”, says Chef Jerson Fernandes
A friendly interview with the very known celebrity chef Mr. Jerson Fernandes led us to explore the life, struggles and dedication in the life of a Chef. He is a notable alumnus of IHM Hyderabad where he completed his degree in a Chef course. Representing his College Chef team as a captain, Jerson won his first gold medal at the age of 20. After completing his education, he began his career as a management trainee and with time he got associated with the reputed hotels and restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe, Taj, Accor Group, Marriott and what not and finally with years of hard work and dedication, he became one of the finest chefs our country has ever known.
Awards and Fame
Awarded with reputed awards and titles like “The most creative young chef of India”, “The Youngest best CDC in Dubai-Marriott”, “The Youngest Executive Chef of Mumbai” and so on, Chef Fernandes has recently been awarded as “The Emerging Executive Chef of 2018”. He has also received several recognitions for “Contribution towards Culinary Fields”
His culinary expertise has touched National as well as International gourmets. He is an invitee to a lot of international food festivals, competitions, Ritz Carlton luxury hotels and what not. He is a frequent guest to international Culinary schools where he is invited to demonstrate his techniques and presentation. His work is his forte and which gets recognition everyday and makes him a popular face in newspapers, articles and blogs every other day.
Chef Jerson’s 3 Key Points
Being a firm believer of “Food Speaks Volumes”, Chef Jerson keeps three essential points in his mind before cooking any dish which he very generously agreed to share with us.
- Person I’m Cooking For- This is an essential pre-requisite for Chef Jerson before cooking any dish. He believes every person has a unique taste and wishes to be satisfied completely which builds even more pressure on the chef to serve the best possible meal. And hence, knowing or even having an idea works out for the best.
- Surprise Ingredient- Every dish has a surprise ingredient which melts the taste-buds of its consumer with awe. And hence, he decides the surprise ingredient in the beginning of every dish.
- Method of Cooking & Presentation- This step is crucial and conscious and must be done with exemplary skills. Method of cooking involves choices like between grilling and roasting etc,. Creative presentation is important because it forms the first impression within the customers. Chef Jerson is an accomplished presenter of his dishes which waters the mouth of his customers at the first sight of it.
Downfalls and Shortcomings of this Industry
Food industry is presently one of the fastest growing industries of our Country. Very modestly, Chef Jerson revealed to us the pitfall of entering this genre of work. If you’re entering here, you must know, you need to toil laboriously every day even after you gain the success you needed because everyone wants to eat the best food from the best cook. Social life is close to nil and you face very little work-life balance. Great Festivals like Diwali, Holi, Christmas and New Years when everyone wants to enjoy with family and friends, you will be working the hardest and will be the busiest.
And the most brutal pitfall is the criticism. Everyone is a gourmet in his/her own sense and it is extremely easy to form perceptions about food. Every Cook goes through criticism, but it is essential to be able to distinguish between the productive ones and the barren ones. Critics know the price of everything but the value of nothing, thus cooks must not lose their heart during such phases. All of this makes it essential to choose this line of profession cautiously and if your passion is into food like Chef Fernandes, there’ll be no regrets whatsoever.
Advice to Budding Chefs
“My advice to the young chefs will be have patience and work hard. Success doesn’t come overnight. You must work hard with dedication and most importantly you must love what you’re doing. Food becomes tastier when you’re cooking it with love just like your mom cooks for you. There are no shortcuts to success. Rewards will come, fame-name & money will come, gradually with time. Have Patience.”
He believes every dish is his signature dish because he puts in same amount of effort and love in every one of them. And even though he has cooked bazillions of dishes, but his favorite continues to be “Maa ke Hath ka Khaana”.