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Chef Amit Raval

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Friday, September 28, 2012


Meet Chef Amit Raval. At 29 years old he is the co -owner of Amtar Fine Foods, a catering company which specializes in authentic Indian sweets, Indian  and international cuisine. A graduate from Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality Tourism Institute (TTHTI) and UWI (Cave Hill Campus) where he completed his BA in culinary arts, Raval is one of the chefs featured on CNC3's new cooking series titled TASTE. He appears in the seventh episode taking viewers to class on the preparation of classical indian cuisine with a bit of the western touch. Doing two courses, appetizer and main course, he shows off his skills at preparing a spiced tossed paneer and  prawn vindaloo served with steamed basmati rice. Raval credits his love for cooking to both his mother and father who taught him to cook from an early age. "My mother is a caterer, my father was an egineer but he also taught me how to mix spices…he was a good cook also, coming from a long line of confectionery makers." said Raval. At 13 he got his first experience with using the grill. " I remember mother putting me on the grill to make  tandoori chicken." recalled Raval. Laughing he says it actually came out "pretty decent." With the preparation of  meals constant in his mother's kitchen, it just seemed wise for Raval to follow in her footsteps.


The journey begins

After ensuring he was a certified chef, Raval took up duty at the Sandpiper Hotel in Barbados where he was famously known for his curries on the Wednesday night buffet menu. On his return to Trinidad he, along with his mother, established Amtar Fine Foods located in Princess town. According to him, from then on, it has just been smooth sailing. What the southland native did not know was the latest blessing that would fall right into his lap. Having conducted a few cooking seminars on Indian cuisine at the Fanatic Kitchen Studio where the Taste series was also filmed, Raval was invited by the show's producers to join the cast of chefs featured. Though his first time on camera, Raval said once he started cooking, the nerves just disappeared. "I happened to have worked with the show's host before (chef Ian Rooks) so I knew what to expect from him," said Raval. He says being on the series, he believes, has opened more doors for him and his colleagues. "It was a great opportunity and I think it was also an excellent effort to celebrate local chefs." Describing himself as a continuous student of culinary arts, Raval said it is a never ending learning experience. "No chef can say that they have mastered every cuisine. Cuisines are  changing everyday in the world. You have to stay informed with what's happening in the culinary world if you want to stay on top of your game," said Raval. Does he have any regrets on such a career path? Absolutely none. " I am extremely happy I chose this path. It's a lot of hard work and commitment, but I am prepared to go the distance"