Chef Sudha Saha has an impressive culinary career. At 17, he was given a place to train hotel management at Chennai. He then joined the Ambassador hotel and trained with the Taj Group. A few years later, Saha moved to Dubai to take up his first executive chef role aged just 23. Over his career, he has also worked in Spain, heading up the Tamarind restaurant, and in 2003 he moved to England to take on the role as a Development Chef.
Today, Saha is the executive head chef for Saffron Group, which consists of Saffron Restaurant in Birmingham and Saffron Blue in Ashby de la Zouch.
How I got to where I am now
Hard work, determination and a focused agenda all helped me to sail through. In the early stages of my career I actually initially wanted to be a doctor but I do not regret it today as I’ve instead become a food doctor!
My biggest challenge
The main challenge is to adopt the work culture in a new place in order to excel and perform at my best. Every time I’ve moved to a new place, I’ve had to start from zero – whatever I achieved before doesn’t count.
My greatest achievement
I am confident that my greatest achievement is still yet to come. It will probably be when I receive the coveted Michelin star for my cooking!
What I love about the hospitality industry
It’s the passion that I have in my cooking. Being a chef, I always try to push the boundaries by being more creative, imaginative and inventive. When this yields good results, it motivates me to carry on and go that next step further.
What I don’t like about the industry
There’s nothing I don’t like, but I do miss the sociable hours.
My favourite dish
I love cooking seafood as it’s delicate and healthy and it marries with spice really well. My favourite dish is the Spiced Pan-Fried Wild Sea Bass, Chic Peas and Asparagus Gateau, Spiced Samphire, Tomato and Red Caviar Achar with Moilee Sauce.
I cooked that dish for the ITV1 programme Britain’s Best Dish last December.
My advice for young, aspiring chefs
Be honest and passionate. You must also learn the very basics from scratch. Developing your knowledge and practicing hard will then give confidence to grow further.
If I wasn’t working in hospitality I’d be…..
My first choice was to study medicine and become a doctor, so I could have done that. But I would probably be writing my cookbook and developing new recipes in the development kitchen.