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INTERVIEW

We are getting rid of underperformers, trying golden handshake
Monday, 04 May, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Being one of the top catering companies across the country and abroad, Kitchen Kraft Catering Company provides scrupulous and undivided attention to detail, freshness, authenticity, taste and an extremely conscientious customer service. The companyy has a culinary algorithm called the ‘Pre-Plated Food Experience’ through the veins of the industry. In an email interview with Vijetha Iyer, Karann Talwar, MD and the gastronome chef, Kitchen Kraft Catering Company, talks about how lockdown has affected the hotel industry and the future course. Excerpts:

How is the lockdown affecting your company?
We have seen a 100% impact on our business as it totally revolves around weddings and corporate events, but due to lockdown till May 3, 2020, no such events can be organised. Thus, we have no cash flow at this period of time. We believe in making people happy than making money, so as a humanitarian gesture, we have refunded the complete amount of bookings to our customers. As of now, we have not chucked out any employee as we can see the situation and it is problematic for everyone, but yes, if the things would grow like this only, then we would be compelled to take such measures as well. Neither, we have indulged ourselves in any salary cuts as of now. In order to deal with this downfall, we are waiting for the government to come up with certain policies and measures which will act as an aid to support the losses incurred in businesses all over the country. This Covid-19 pandemic is much bigger than the recession of 2008.


Are your employees co-ordinating from home?
Yes, so now we are preparing for the future plans of the company, for the operations angle, we are looking to certify our kitchens with HACCP Programme  a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical, physical hazards and more recently radiological hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe and designs measures to reduce these risks to a safe level. A world-recognised programme which is a necessity in a 5-star hotel.  Earlier, a catering company or a restaurant was away from it but now it has been made possible, we are training our senior employees for the same. We are also planning to have our new menus, so, our employees are focussing on organic ingredients and preparing dishes with an immunity booster.

When did you get the title Youngest Sous Chef?
I was honoured with the title of Youngest Sous Chef in 2007. I still cant define that moment when I was awarded that title. It was just one of the milestones in my career that I had achieved. From that day till date, I have worked in and out to take myself as well as Kitchen Kraft to the new heights of success.

How are you planning to carry forward the Progressive Indian Cuisine?
This is the right time for Progressive Indian Cuisine. We are working on regional cuisines a lot. Our new menus will focus on regional Indian food; it will focus on bringing back the old lost recipes. People are not looking forward to international cuisines as they require international ingredients which are difficult to get in India. So, we’ll be focussing on using the local ingredient.


Since your company is considered as top company abroad, what are your future plans to develop it?
Actually, we do not believe in changing, we rather believe in evolving ourselves from what we were previously and try to give a remarkable experience to our clients and guests. We dont want to change our style, we want to evolve Kitchen Kraft and make it a firm brand like it should come first in mind when people think about luxury catering.

What is your signature dish?
Our signature dish is Dal-E-Kitchen Kraft with Truffle Naan. This signature dish has taken the company all over the world. Its unique taste, and noteworthy ingredients prove to be a standout. Prepared with the right mix of the finest herbs available in India, Dal e Kitchen Kraft with Truffle naan is a wonderful combination that bridges East and West effortlessly and splendidly offering a perfect blend of international flavours with an Indian twist.

How was your experience collaborating with ITC Maurya, Taj Oberoi, Hyatt and other brands?
I have been cooking for others when I had collaborated with leading hotel chains like ITC Maurya, Taj, Oberoi, Hyatt, Carnival Cruise (USA), Sea bourn Luxury (USA). I always wanted to do something of my own and finally, one day I decided and came out with Kitchen Kraft. Overall, it was a complete learning and fascinating experience. However, I chose to come up with a luxury catering company because I feel that catering is a more challenging job since everyday you are cooking something new, and I like to do something experimenting everyday, plus I tend to meet new people also in my current profile.

Tell us about your awards and recognition.
I have received the most promising caterer award in 2015. Well as a caterer, I have never worked to achieve an award or recognition. I have worked to gain recognition from my clients. I like it when they say that my function had the best food in town or my guest was thanking me to serve delicious finger-licking food. That is what my biggest award is.

In the competitive market, how do you manage to stay in the race?
Because of competition only, we are motivated to use to best technique, using the latest trends of the service and cooking food. So, we keep on innovating ourselves and we keep on working on our knowledge banks of recipes to satisfy the demands of our clients.

How are you planning to cope with the losses due to Covid-19?
We are trying to do cost cutting, we are getting rid of the unwanted expenses, all the underperformers of our company, we are just trying to have a golden handshake with them and we are also going forward with limiting our staff. 
 
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