Five minutes with… Rishim Sachdeva

The chef and founder of the (mostly) vegan kitchen Tendril on his dream customer, love of tomatoes and why he gave up giving up cheese

Food and Drink 26 Nov 2021

Chef Rishim Sachdeva

Chef Rishim Sachdeva

What can diners expect from Tendril?

Laidback, imaginative (mostly) vegan food and very warm service. We want people to come hungry and leave happy and full.

Do you have signature dishes at Tendril, and if so, what are they?

I am very excited about the chipotle mushroom, BBQ leeks and peanut glaze that has become something of a signature. And our very own version of purple sweet potatoes, sesame crackers and radishes.

What led you to cooking (mostly) vegan food and not ‘full’ vegan?

I am mostly vegan myself. I do end up having cheese every now and then! It’s about being true to yourself and our diners, and I want that to translate in my food. I have given up on trying to give up cheese! There are worse vices out there, right?

What ingredient can you not live without?

The humble yet versatile tomato. Sauce, salad, stew, salsa! A game changer if you get good quality tomatoes.

Who is your role model and why?

Barack Obama! You can see he works on himself and great things come his way. He doesn’t take himself too seriously but is very focused on any goal he sets his mind to. I genuinely feel he would enjoy the whole Tendril laidback-and-fun vibe a lot. He would be a dream customer.

What are your biggest passions outside of food and drink?

Reading and writing. I love the energy the kitchen brings out: all that adrenaline and buzz, but at the same time I crave peace and quiet. Sitting down with a book at home is how I spend my holidays.

Where are your favourite places to eat in the world?

Spain, for honesty in every bite, and Vietnam, for the clever use of seasonal wild ingredients at hand. If you’ve not travelled to either of these places, they should be on your list for 2022!

Who from history or the present day would you most like to cook for and what would you make them?

I am confident that Venus Williams would love our roast cauliflower, stem kimchi and green grape dish a lot. She comes across as super relaxed but very serious and disciplined. Another dream customer. Perhaps Venus and Obama could dine together?

Tendril is currently in residency at The Sun & 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG. A discovery menu at Tendril is £33 per person. Look out for Tendril’s upcoming Veganuary menu in January;