UK-brought up, Culinary specialist Chef Shaun Kenworthy who started his profession in Yorkshire, Manchester and London. Once, Gourmet specialist chose to set roots in India itself and long after he settled down in Kolkata. He curates the menu for The Myx Bar and kitchen. Here are some candid moments from this world-class culinary specialist, who discusses to little talk of his enthusiasm for sustenance, love for Kolkata, the USP of the menu and the situation of Indian food comprehensively.
Expresso: What inspired you to be a chef?
Shaun Kenworthy: Not massive amount of inspiration really but I did start cooking when I was young and always enjoyed it. By the age, I was about 10, I used to be throwing my parents out of the kitchen and cooking things out of cookbooks. My first job was washing dishes in a pub kitchen when I was about 13. It was part-time though and my interest in cooking grew stronger with each passing day and here I am today, living my dream.
Expresso: What are your signature dishes?
Shaun Kenworthy: No signature dishes as such. I think I am one of those kinds of people whose lives are forever changing. Things are ever-changing, so I might seem like a very cool dude yesterday but might not be the same six months from now.
Expresso: Please mention your favourite cuisines?
Shaun Kenworthy: Cuisines I don’t think I really have any favourite; I am just a lover of good food. Whichever country I am in, I think that’s probably the best country to eat, while you are in that country. Quite straight forward really, If I am in Thailand then Thai food, if I am in Japan then Japanese food, if you are in Italy then obviously Italian food.
Expresso: Tell us about the menu you have curated for The Myx Bar and kitchen? What is the USP of the menu?
Shaun Kenworthy: The menu in The Myx Bar and Kitchen was all about curating some really nice tastes and flavours in food which were going to go really well with the copious amount of drinking that happens in a bar. We have nailed that and I think the customers are really happy with what we have. The menu will keep evolving and in a couple of months’ time, we will have something new on the rooftop so looking forward to that.
Expresso: Tell us something about what new summer recipes you are currently working on for The Myx Bar & Kitchen?
Shaun Kenworthy: The new summer menu in the Myx for me is great and lighter things though we are a drinking kind of place and in all honesty, most of our customers are still looking for those old favourites of tandoori chicken, a burger or a pizza. But, I think we have a nice new menu, a lot of light things to eat and we are sure that this change in the menu will be loved by all.
Expresso: According to you – where the Indian food industry stands in the current global scenario?
Shaun Kenworthy: Now, this is something I can probably write a book on or maybe I will in some time soon, I think India is always going to be very different from pretty much most countries in the world. It won’t just follow the trend around the globe, Indians love flavours and big flavours like the ones here will always rule the food market globally. I don’t think that’s going to change for a long time now, so let’s see what the future holds. We won’t know until the change happens.
Expresso: Tell us about the absolute most intriguing cooking styles you had on your travel during Kolkata.
Shaun Kenworthy: Kolkata for me has always been about history, heritage and food. I think Kolkata has the best street food in the country. If you travel around the country you will find the street food pretty much the same in every city but Kolkata has flavours of its own, from fish fry to fish kabiraji and aloo chop. I mean the street food in this city excites me the most to go around the streets.
Expresso: If not a chef, what would have been your alternative profession?
Shaun Kenworthy: Well, I never really thought much about it but if not a chef we would have been somewhere in the creative art field. Since I was an artist at one point of my life, I guess I would make a very good artist someday, even if not an artist it had to be something creative, like the job that we do as chefs are not very different from any craft skill or an art form.