Chef Maria Bennan says her passion for culinary arts dates back to her childhood. She says, “Working with my father in the food manufacturing units of Pavizham group in Kerala immensely helped me gain that much needed industrial experience. I was always inspired by the way my mom cooked and the flavours she would create, prompting to take it up as a full-time career.”
She adds, “It was my mentor and good friend, Chef Naveen “Navin” Thomas, who inspired me to think outside the box, showing the importance of staying professional and always focused on the task at hand.”
She says, “I would have preferred moving abroad earlier than I did, for my culinary education. The sooner you find your footing in the industry, the earlier you can spend quality time travelling, exploring various cultures and cuisines from around the world.”
She adds, “For a woman, it could mean juggling between spending long hours in the kitchen and taking care of your toddler soon as you step into motherhood or even when you are on your menstrual cramps and are required to put your body through intense physical strain.”
Maria thanks her family, especially her partner for comprehending the hospitality life and the kitchen environment.
She says, “The weather, the time of the year, the season all have a huge role to play, with regard to consistency.” She has been lending a twist to her mom’s flavours from her childhood, the memory of which has been etched in her mind forever.
Maintaining consistency in the cuisine requires closely monitoring the quality of the ingredients from one batch to the next.
Employing the right procedures and standards and maintaining an open communication with one’s team members will ensure the highest quality of preparation and presentation every single time, she concludes.