The Travelling Gourmet TM interviews the Head Chef of a top 5 star hotel…

Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

All rights reserved

Andaz Hotel’s Head Chef Hameed Farook gives an exclusive interview to the inquisitive and inspiring Travelling Gourmet…

MADRAS is where affable and energetic Head Chef Hameed Farook hails from. India’s ‘Curry Capital’ is now renamed Chennai. Now based in the absolutely spiffing Andaz Hotel which is Hyatt International’s luxury boutique hotel brand, Chef Hameed cooks up a gastronomic typhoon in “1901”! “1901” is the signature fine dining restaurant with high  ceilings and a huge dome .  Dine here to savour creative dishes that are classically prepared, beautifully executed and delivered with finesse and panache. Undoubtedly “1901” is one of my favouite restaurants in London.

The Travelling Gourmet: Why did you become a Chef?

Chef Hameed: Since childhood, I had a vision of cooking..I love my Mum’s cooking. When I grew up, I attended International Hotel Management School in Hyderabad. I was lucky enough to win the All India Chef’s Competition…later I worked at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai & on P & O cruise ships..which was very exciting.

The Travelling Gourmet: What do you like most about being a Chef?

Chef Hameed: The food amazes me! And you can create art. Food is one of life’s necessities. I’ve trained with 3 Michelin Star Chefs and London was my dream destination since 2005…

The Travelling Gourmet: What’re your favourite ingredients?

Chef Hameed: To eat, seafood…I’ve a flair for lobster. I like Tasmanian Lobster and fresh fish. I like Vetivier.

Chef Hameed explained when he saw my puzzlement, “It is a root with an earthy flavour. I like to combine flavours!”

The Travelling Gourmet: Do you do molecular gastronomy?

Chef Hameed: I do molecular gastronomy in a small aspect…it’s a different route, I incorporate some components into a dish, but NOT the main component. My inetention, to bring in new flavours to incorporate into European cooking.

The Travelling Gourmet: Tell us about the really yummie food in “1901”…

Chef Hameed: Firstly, the food in “1901” is locally sourced, all sustainable and mostly in and around England…except for Scottish Salmon and Welsh Lamb. We use all top quality productsAll top quality stuff. We have been awarded  3 Rosettes by the AA.

The Travelling Gourmet: I simply adore your selection of fine and unusual British cheeses on your Cheeseboard. Please tell us more about them.

Chef Hameed elaborated with a happy chuckle: We have 12 to 15 varieties at any one time. There is Innes Log from Staffordshire, Berkwell hard cheese from the West Midlands, Montgomery Cheddar and more…

The Travelling Gourmet: Who is your hero in the culinary world?

Chef Hameed: I don’t have a particular hero but I get inspiration from many chefs.

The Travelling Gourmet: What’s your favourite spice?

Chef Hameed: I love Cinnamon & Cumin…like I can make Cumin foam. One ingredient I must have is Saffron.

The Travelling Gourmet: Do you like to cook with wine?

Chef Hameed: I love to cook with wine like Gewuerztraminer. It adds a lot of flavours, textures and notes to the dish. I carefully select quality wines. I don’t use “cooking wines”!

After the enlightening interview over a hot Cappuccino in Andaz’s cosy Champagne Bar, Head Chef Hameed brought me on a VIP tour of one of the hotel’s most intriguing secrets. I was amazed and my flabber was absolutly gasted by the sight of the mystical Masonic Tample! It was only discovered during remodelling and renovation of the hotel. The temple had being hidden away behind a secret door for years…If only walls could speak, what terrific tales they would tell…

More people eat salted peanuts than Oscietra caviar…but when you have the chance, go for the Caviar! Enjoy! 🙂

Andaz Hotel

40 Liverpool Street


England, UK

Tel: +44 207 961 1234

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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