Asian Journal interviewed Chef Siddharth Choudhary of Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen and Tiffin about his restaurant, his passion for food, and his plans to overcome challenges faced by the restaurant during the COVID-19
Q. How did the journey of Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen start?
After living in many countries and working as a Chef in different establishments, I learnt a lot of skills and gained culinary knowledge. When I arrived here in Canada, I wanted to share the delightful recipes with people here, so I started Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen and incorporated my culinary learning and experience in the menu line-up.
Like fashion trends, the culinary world too has its trends, and my team and I make sure we are serving the best food blended with the latest trends to our customers. This year is special for us as it is the 20th anniversary of my culinary journey & the 10th anniversary of Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen. To celebrate this milestone, we are going to launch a new version of Chef’s menu with authentic Indian dishes which has never been done here before!
Q. How has COVID-19 affected your business and business outlook for the future?
COVID-19 caught us off guard and just like others, we too have been affected by this pandemic. But every cloud has a silver lining, this time too has its silver lining, it has given us an opportunity to think out of the box and do something creative while adapting to the new ‘normal’.
The first decision we made when restaurants were asked to shut down was not to let our wonderful staff go away. Infact, we decided to explore a new dimension in the business and expand our reach in this difficult time. We launched ‘Siddhartha’s Tiffin’. Now we are known as Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen and Tiffin.
We all know good food uplifts the mood. When people were asked to stay home many felt bored in the quarantine, we decided to bring customized meals to their home through our tiffin service. We also launched our new segment of ‘Fried Chicken’.
Q Tell us a bit more about the Tiffin service. Why did you decide to introduce this service?
To celebrate the 10th anniversary milestone we were already planning to launch a service to provide good quality food to our customers at their doorstep who have busy lifestyle, high-pressure jobs, and little or no time to buy groceries & cook everyday. So, when things were shutting down, we kept on working on our goal and I am proud to say we launched Siddhartha’s Tiffin as per our original plan!
Our service is designed for young professionals, international students or elderly people who prefer to get food at the comfort of their home. The food is delivered at their doorstep everyday at a very economical price without any hassle. This is one of our ways to help people stay connected to their family or cultural cuisines such as Punjabi, Hyderabadi, Bengali, Gujarati, and other regional cuisines of India.
Q. Does Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen and Tiffin offer vegan food?
Yes, our 50 % menu is vegan, even the tiffin service is customised with a lot of vegan dishes, salads and breads. The trend to go vegan is growing and we have been expanding the vegan items on our menu to serve customers who prefer vegan dishes.
Q. Tell us about the awards and recognitions earned by your restaurant and you over the years
Over the years my best awards are recognition and love of my customers. Some of the top awards where I was acknowledged and Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen recognised are ‘Top 3rd Chef in Ireland’, ‘Best Asian cuisine in Vancouver’, ‘Honorary Diploma from Chilian Govt’, ‘Food Carving Bronze Medalist’.
Q. Do you plan to document your recipes in a cookbook like many other leading chefs’ have done?
Yes, I am working on a book from last two years which is amalgamation of my journey, my favorite chefs, my dishes, and my favorite herbs and spices. Also, I am writing a book on why every person should learn cooking and must be aware about various food ingredients for healthy life.
Q. Ambience of Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen and Tiffin is unique, give us some insight into the concept behind it.
From my childhood, I was always interested in arts and I am a music student. I am very inclined towards the environment too. When I started Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen, I wanted to blend everything and create ambience where different arts like food, paintings, music, plants are in harmony, plus it makes the experience of dining enjoyable. We don’t just create good food; we create fond memories too!