London

An interview with Mehernosh Mody

The Metropolist 22 Aug 2014

Mehernosh Mody, Executive Chef at London’s prestigious La Porte des Indes, was born in a part of a once-occupied French India; roots which were deep-seeded into his culinary inspirations. Dining at his restaurant has been described as “pure theatre”. A master in blending spices and flavours to a high degree of sophistication, Mody has achieved his high-level of prestige among peers, diners and critics alike in the last 10 years.

Having joined the La Porte des Indes family in 1991 in Brussels, Mody has helped steer the brand with his unique cooking style and abundance of flavours in his dishes. Little surprise, then, that after the London branch opened in 1996 with Mody on board it gained a nomination after just one year for ‘Best Indian Restaurant’ by Carlton London Restaurant Awards and was awarded ‘Best Indian’ and ‘Best UK’ Restaurant by the 1998 Good Curry Guide.

Currently celebrating their 18th birthday we interviewed the man himself about how they are toasting the milestone and the journey he’s had thus far.

 

The Metropolist: What inspired you to become a chef?

Mehernosh Mody: My Mum was an avid cook and I would love to help her out and watch her in the kitchen. I then got selected into a three-year course for hotel management in Bombay, whilst pursuing my higher education, and by the end of the three years I realised that I loved cooking and decided to pursue it as a career

 

TM: How long have you been a chef?

MM: Too long [ about 28 years ] and still loving it! I was born in Bombay and after 10 years of training and experience I became Executive Chef at London’s La Porte des Indes, which has brought together all my cooking influences from traditional Indian home cooking through to baking and fine French cuisine.

 

TM: Which dish is the most popular at the restaurant?

MM: There can never be one dish that could be singled out, though there are some customer favourites [which we’ve noticed] over the years. Two dishes we are proud of that is a fine example of the style of cooking is Cassoulet de Fruits de Mer, a rich seafood stew simmered in vindai spices, and Demoiselles de Pondichéry – large juicy grilled king scallops with a hint of garlic in a mild saffron sauce – all prepared with passion and expertise by our superb team of regional Indian chefs.

 

TM: What can guests expect from the cookery classes you are now hosting?

MM: The classes are a medium to showcase our style of Indian cooking – French-Creole – with an insight into our kitchen and generally a fun day out as it’s very interactive and informative about the various aspects and peculiarities of Indian cooking. We focus a lot of the session on herbs and spices and how to prepare them – by grinding and roasting – as this is the basis of any Indian meal. We then talk you through a three-course meal and show you various cooking techniques, which you can then sample in the way of a three-course meal!

 

TM: What’s on the menu for the lunch?

MM: Taster platters, which allow people to sample a varied array of our cuisine.

 

TM: Will the restaurant be doing anything else as part of its 18th anniversary?

MM: We launched our newest restaurant in Dubai this year and our menu here in London will be featuring our most popular dishes over the years.