Next in The International Kitchen’s series of chef interviews is with Ms. Monica Bhatia, who leads our cooking class in Agra (India). She learned to cook from her mother, and has been passionate about food ever since, and now with her husband runs his family’s restaurant, which was founded in 1960. She now imparts her knowledge to our travelers in an intimate and authentic experience.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Monica Bhatia and I am the co-owner of Kwality Multicuisine restaurant at Agra the city of Taj Mahal in India.
What is your first memory of cooking?
My first memory of cooking was making stuffed breads (onion and potato) with my grandmother when I was 8 years of age.
Where or from whom did you learn about cooking?
I had cultivated the art of cooking since my early childhood days, showing my desire to learn from my mother while she was doing the kitchen for the family.
What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with?
I prefer cooking with sunflower oil as it is healthy.
Each and every ingredient is essential.
What’s your favorite dish?
As I am a non vegetarian my favourite dish is Butter Chicken.
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?
Just enjoy what you cook and serve it with all your love it is always appreciated.
Have any funny or embarrassing stories you’d like to share?
I can never forget the day when one of my friend mistook chilly flakes for a mouth freshener (called ‘supari’ in India).
Why do you like teaching cooking classes?
The passion to interact with wide variety of food loving people makes me more focussed on my culinary skills. The art to demonstrate authentic recipes gives me a different pleasure which is unexplainable in words.
What’s unique about the food from your region?
The food that we cook is simple and easy to make.
Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
My cooking is “GEN NEXT” and I would love you all to be a part of it!
By Peg Kern
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