Flash-grilled: Rishim Sachdeva

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Rishim Sachdeva  chef behind 'mostly vegan' pop up restaurant concept Tendril

Related tags: Chef, Residency, Vegan

The chef behind 'mostly vegan' pop up restaurant concept Tendril on Gail's, cooking with live fire, and why Donald Trump is his dream dinner party guest.

What was your first industry job?​ 
Kitchen porter in a pub in Oxford whilst still at university. I mastered the technique of washing piles of dishes using the least possible space.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?​ 
I’m very inclined to say I’d probably have been a writer/author.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Nuno Mendes, and Daniel Humm - Eleven Madison Park going vegan is absolutely unreal.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Hate is very strong word for me. What I don't appreciate in the kitchen is when somebody doesn’t think ahead. What you are doing today should have been planned yesterday, and you are laying the seeds for tomorrow right now. So think and plan ahead.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
“With such style and finesse in your cooking, I was expecting somebody older.” (She’s now my wife.)

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Laidback, imaginative and flavour-forward food.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
That’s a hard one to recall. I don't read many reviews.

À la carte or tasting menu?
Tasting menu as you get a real flavour of the chef’s best cooking.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
The Dairy in Clapham; Birdsong in San Francisco; and black sesame pudding from a street vendor in Vietnam.

Favourite fast food joint?
Can I choose Gail’s? Not technically considered fast food but it’s just so consistently good.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Squid and mackerel burger by Anthony Demetre for Arbutus.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?
Ozark.

Most overrated food?
Truffle parmesan fries.

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Annoying no-shows.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Donald Trump and feeding him the spiciest meal ever. My two cents for the world...
And Freddy Mercury.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Bitter apricot kernels when I was six.

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Playground or back garden with my two-year-old son.

Tipple of choice?
Beer.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
Live fire! I’ve tried to cook in a kitchen with no live fire and only electric heat. It's a no-go for me! I find it incredibly frustrating when the equipment keeps beeping and heat is controlled mechanically.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
My sweet tooth and bitter palate loves a bitter almond croissant (bonus points that it’s mostly vegan).

What do you consider your signature dish?
Too soon to say, but I am super excited about my chargrilled chipotle mushroom with BBQ leeks and peanut puree on the Tendril menu right now.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Get in to this industry for the right reasons or you’ll burn out real quick. Success comes from finding a place to stay, working on yourself, mastering the basics, perfecting that cut and the rest will follow.

Sachdeva is to currently running a six-month residency for Tendril at The Sun & 13 Cantons pub in London's Soho

Related topics: Chef, Profiles

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