The importance of the chef profession has also increased in Nepal after Master Chef Santosh Shah raised Nepal’s name in the International arena. People are also beginning to understand the cooking profession and the satisfaction of many Nepali chefs has increased after chef Santosh Shah becomes the 1st Runner-up in BBC Master Chef Competition 2020.
According to chef Heaven, the organization opened on the initiative of Nepali chefs working in different countries of the world has declared him the youngest ‘Executive chef’ in Nepal. The London-based organization evaluates the work of all Nepali chefs by contacting them. A month ago, Heaven was given the title of the youngest Executive Chef in Nepal.
“I am the first in Nepal to be an Executive Chef at the age of 24. Until a few years ago, it was customary to get the post of executive chef only after working for fifteen years in Nepal. The older you get, the more experience you have. But that’s not the case, ‘says Chef Heaven.
He says, ‘No business can be run by just one person. Success is possible only if all employees work together. But in our country, the elders are reluctant to accept what the new generation has said and will not allow them to move forward. Young Chefs are rarely given the opportunity. It is a rule to be very old to reach the top post. This is not true. If only age was important, I would not be in this place today. Haven has proven that good work is more important than age. He is confident that the move will soon reach young chefs. But we have to create opportunities for ourselves. To become an Executive chef, one has to have more knowledge such as education, working style, knowledge of food and health, understanding the importance of food and being able to keep value on the same basis, how to handle hotel kitchen. It’s been four years since Chef Heaven started working in the hotel sector. Working at the Shinee Narchhok Premier Boutique Hotel, he previously worked as a Sous chef at the LOD Club for a year. He has worked in about seven hotels and restaurants so far and has gained a lot of experience and knowledge during this period.
After finishing 12th grade, he thought of going to Australia. He could not decide what to do in the future when the plan was not completed. Instead of staying here, he started studying for a bachelor’s degree in hotel management. Until then, he had little interest in kitchen work.
“Even the teachers used to say that my ability is more in external management than in the kitchen,” he says. “At that time, I was not interested in cooking in the kitchen. But when I was looking for a job in a hotel, I always found a job in the kitchen. In this way, his journey became connected with the kitchen. Initially, he worked in an Italian restaurant. When he entered, he had no knowledge of cooking. An Italian chef there taught him a lot about food. He says that it was very easy to work because everyone in the restaurant was young. After earning money by working in the kitchen, he was motivated and focused on cooking and serving his own taste and twist of dishes.
According to Heaven, there are many creative young chefs in Nepal who can make a big impact on hotel management. But they do not get the opportunity, they are forced to go abroad because the chef earns respect as well as good money. He says it is difficult to earn by working as a chef in Nepal.
It is not easy to find a chef to guide young chefs in Nepal. Good training is essential for the chef. But neither the stakeholders nor the government has paid attention to it, says Heaven. In fact, politics has crept into the kitchen here as well. So now he is encouraging young chefs to move forward in this field. He suggests that you learn to cope with obstacles in your field. He says, ‘I can be an executive chef at the age of 24 and others can. The way young people who are immersed in technology learn and do things differently. With hard work and good experience, even younger people can become Executive Chef.