Vishnu Natarajan is an Indian freelance Chef. He talks about Indian cuisine, his passion for cooking and his future plans.


Today you are a well experienced Freelance Chef and Chef Consultant in London. Going back to the beginning. Why did you become a chef?

The fire in belly on how to learn the niche technics of cooking delicious food with humble ingredients. To amaze everyone’s taste buds, filling with hearty meals and gaining a place in their hearts.


In India you worked as Chef Lecture at the SRM university. Do you miss this chef teaching job? 

Initially I thought so, until I realized learning and teaching by sharing knowledge is my lifestyle, that does not have classroom limitations.


In Chennai (India) you worked several years as Sous Chef of the TAJ, where you led the specialty south Indian fine dining restaurant. What makes the south Indian cuisine so special?

The real Indian cuisines of pre-conquerors and Invaders still lives in pockets of Southern India. Southern India is surrounded by three great oceans and natures varied bounty of seasons, monsoons, waterways, forest, religious practices are some of the main contributing factors to make it so special. It is very medicinal, freshness, and healthy, UNESCO recognizes foods from this region as some of world’s BEST complete foods.



The Indian cuisine is great and traditional. What are the new developments in the Indian cuisine?

All the developments revolve around keeping core cooking concepts alive along with deliciousness. Evolving with plating styles and combining foods from different regional ingredients are the key developments in Indian kitchen.


Before you started you work as freelance chef, you worked several years as Head Chef and Executive Head Chef in the UK. Hand on heart, what was your first impression of the English kitchen?

Clear flow of set rules to follow. Many youngsters turn up in the kitchen as a mere job rather than that burning desire to learn the skills. With an unwillingness to stay put in for unsociable hours and less positive attitude.



After all these different experiences how would you describe your culinary line today?

Now my style is very simple keeping as close to nature as possible, they have taste within. I merely put them together in plate together.


What was the reason for you to work as freelance chef?

More learning from different environments, challenges, ingredients, and human beings who are the mobile data bank loads with varied knowledge, skill, experience and attitude.


Can you share some of your latest/special recipe/dish you offer as a freelance chef with us? 

Chicken winglet lollipop. It is a humble chicken wings made into lollipop marinated with chettinad spices (a seductive combination of 13 spices from a collective of 96 villages in Southern India). Crispy fried chicken is everyone’s favorite.



Any place in the world you would like to gain experiences/work as freelance chef? 

Love to spend a day with each top 50 chefs of the world.


Being a chef is a great job. What are your ideas to make this job more attractive for young students?

As a fundamental policy, I don’t use any abusive or slangs in kitchen to terrify any aged learners. My kitchens are always filled with harmony, love and more love for food. The only thing I would ever ask with a student is come with a desire/attitude to learn, rest everything would follow the suit.


If you would open one day your own small and specialized restaurant, where would it be and what would it offer?

I did one and burnt my fingers. But it wouldn’t stop me to do again in future. My next own project would be a small one dish eatery. Obviously it would be in London.


Thank you very much, Vishnu Natarajan!


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