Five minutes with… Rohit Ghai

The award-winning chef patron of Kutir reveals his love of cricket, cardamom and Korean food

Food and Drink 16 Apr 2019

Rohit Ghai, chef patron of Kutir
Inventive Indian cuisine at Kutir
Kutir's intimate and glamorous interior

What is the best piece of advice you have for chefs?

I’ve worked in many kitchens in London and I always say the best advice is to work hard to maintain consistency and to stay creative. If chefs are passionate and good enough they should be doing this.

Who is your role model?

I’m the youngest of my siblings and spent a lot of time with my parents when I was a child – especially my mother, who is an incredible cook. I am inspired by her recipes and accommodate them into my cooking in my way. My brother is also an excellent chef; it’s really my family who have influenced the flavours and authenticity of the way I cook.

What ingredient can you not live without and why?

Indian spices – my cooking is all about flavours and spices. My favourites are black and green cardamom. 

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?

My mobile phone and my laptop; I have to be switched on at all times.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

The rustic kebabs from the tandoor at Tayyabs in Whitechapel are fantastic and incredibly consistent, I love it there. I also really like the mix of Asian food at Umami in South Kensington and Judy Joo’s Korean food at Jinjuu in Soho.

What do you like to do on a day off?

On my days off I spend time with my kids. I have a six year old and a five and a half month old, who was born at the same time Kutir opened.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

Food really is my biggest passion and I’m always thinking about how to bring something new and different to London’s restaurant scene. However, I do also really like playing cricket when I get the chance.

Who is your ideal dinner party guest?

I would have to say my family. I am so busy we hardly spend any time together, it’s so hard to find the time. I’d definitely choose to spend the dinner party with them above anyone else.

Rohit Ghai is the chef patron at Kutir in Chelsea, which opened at the end of 2018 to universal acclaim for its moreish and imaginative Indian cuisine and intimate atmosphere. He also opened KoolCha at Wembley Boxpark in February 2019, serving comfort street food including north-Indian stuffed flatbreads or ‘kulcha.’