Dev, tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and how did you get into the hospo industry?
I was born in Mumbai, India. Mumbai is a vibrant and eclectic city with 20 000 000 inhabitants. Youhad tobe loud to make yourself known!
I began my cheffing career at age 20. I wasn’t too sure what todo with my life but I took to cooking as I knew I would never be hungry!
There are good days and bad, but overall this is what I love and I have no regrets!
Your greatest life achievement thus far?
Work: at the age of27 (2003) - The restaurant I was working in, Olive Bar and Kitchen, New Delhi, was rated top 50 restaurants in the world via Wanderlust. I was beyond proud ofour achievement. Personally: Definitely becoming a dad. It’s very rewarding and very ‘full-on’!
What do you doin your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
I used to drum a few years back. But now gardening ismy thing. Im particularly proud ofmybeautiful fresh herbs!
What is your favourite dish to cook and eat?
A big bowl of homemade linguini with tons of prawns, bacon, garlic and olive oil.
Best restaurant you have ever eaten at?
Many years ago I had an unforgettable experience at Charlie Trotters in Chicago. A forty-course degustation. It was mind-blowing.
What are your plans with the Deco kitchen?
Firstly to be consistent with our offering. Every meal leaving this kitchen has tobe great. We have all the potential to be an Auckland icon. This place is a beauty and I plan todoit justice.
Do you have a quote/mantra to live by? I had some
thing philosophical to say...but my mind’s gone blank! Here’s some kitchen banter instead: ‘Its only food, how hard can it effing be!;)’
What advice can you give to all the young budding chef’s out there?
Put your head down. Keep your mouth just and just DO IT.