Seefah Ketchaiyo is one of India’s top emerging chefs and possibly Mumbai’s very favourite Asian food wiz. She’s just launched her signature restaurant ‘Seefah’ and is all set to push boundaries with authentic Thai flavours on to Indian plates. Having worked at the Four Seasons as their Thai chef, she turned to set up her own little restaurant with husband-chef Karan Bane two years ago called The Blue, which was never short of waiting queues. For someone who never trained as a chef, in 2019 Seefah will build on her legacy with flavours with the new restaurant. Seefah speaks to SheThePeople.
People Are The Key Ingredient In The Success Of Your Food Venture. – Seefah Ketchaiyo
What’s Seefah the restaurant all about?
It’s a true reflection of the chef that I am. My signature restaurant is truly about myself. The food that I love to eat, and cook for others. The rich and aromatic flavours of Thailand and how I try to bring them alive for everyone here in Mumbai – the birth of Seefah is the journey back to my roots. From where I am, and my giveback to Mumbai, the city where I blossomed as a chef. My name Seefah was given to me by my parents and it’s so important to me.
The birth of Seefah is the journey back to my roots. From where I am, and my giveback to Mumbai, the city where I blossomed as a chef.
It’s been a rewarding journey for one of India’s most emerging chefs – what does this milestone mean to you?
Staying away from my own country, Thailand and making a name for myself means a lot to me. And it has been very difficult at the same time, to push myself to experiment, try to do something new. My journey is not complete without my husband who has been part of this rewarding journey. I am motivated as a result to try
something new, experiment with the cuisine and aim to achieve new milestones.
Where did you get your training and what was the most important lesson?
I have never quite done any formal training but it’s been the love for food that’s taken me places, to celebrated kitchens around India. I never went to any cooking school. I learnt a lot of cooking from my dad (even he is not a chef) as our family loves to eat. Just being at the markets, buying new ingredients and returning to experiment with them at home, make the experience a rich one for me. We don’t like to go out as a family so we are always cooking at home. This is what helped me learn the fundamentals of being a chef. The most important lesson that I am familiar with is that one should know how to cook with love.
Just being at the markets, buying new ingredients and returning to experiment with them at home, make the experience a rich one for me.
The journey from Bangkok to Bombay – how did it happen?
I got a job with a five-star hotel in Mumbai and I worked there for many years honing my skills.
What was the hardest moment of your career?
Training people. People are the key ingredient in the success of your food venture. It’s a lesson I learn every day.
When Seefah isn’t in the kitchen, where is she?
Enjoying time with my husband, travelling, and most of the time trying new food which is a part of my learning.
What’s your favourite Bombay street food?
Aloo Pakora and Dahi Puri.
Feminism to you means…
To be a leader in your field.
Next ambitious plan?
An Asian theme based coffee shop.
Also Read: Meet Asma Khan, Britain’s First Chef on Netflix’s ‘Chef’s Table’