Suveg Kavatkar- I started washing dishes/stewarding in the kitchen of Emporio Armani Café in Dubai. Back then I didn’t even know what “olive oil” was

“In 2005, I lost my father and being the eldest son, I had to lean in and take on the family responsibilities. In early 2006, at age 20, I decided to drop out from college and I headed to Dubai.

I started washing dishes/stewarding in the kitchen of Emporio Armani Café in Dubai. I had never been in a professional kitchen – back then I didn’t even know what “olive oil” was.

I would watch the Chefs closely and somewhere amongst cleaning the piles of dishes a spark of passion ignited within me. I volunteered after my shift hours and spent my day offs in the kitchen.

I wore my first white chef’s uniform after six months of hard work and was moved into the kitchen as a junior chef. My kitchen journey started with the pastry section. After 2.5 years, I got the opportunity to work in a then consultant restaurant of the legendary Chef Alain Ducasse in Dubai.

This was another major turning point in my career. I also had the honor to be one of the personal chefs and cooked for Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, the wife of the former emir of Qatar, for around 4 months.

In 2015, I started working for 2 Michelin stars restaurant-The Tasting Room by Galliot in Macau SAR, China. In early 2017, I moved with Galliot to work for Caprice in Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong,  China and in less than 18 months we achieved the third Michelin star – the highest accolade in the culinary industry.

In my journey so far, I have faced a lot of racism and down time for being brown and holding a blue passport. I have had people who made fun of my colour and also refused to report unto me. That said, I also had some good mentors and colleagues I met along the journey. It was hard for anyone to digest my growth because I was the black apple with no fancy culinary certificates behind me.

It’s been 14 years since I left India for work and I am very proud of what I have achieved so far. I believe hard work and dedication never goes unnoticed or to waste.” said Suveg Kavatkar

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