Chef Siddharth Choudhary

Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.

Chef Siddharth Choudhary

Siddharth Choudhary grew up in New Delhi, India, when he was 19 years old he got into cooking, he did a 3 year diploma in culinary in New Delhi at a 5 star luxury hotel. He was then selected for a job at a restaurant chain in Ireland where he worked for 6 years. He received a bronze medal in a chefs competition in Ireland in presentation. He then bought an Italian restaurant and turned it into a Japanese restaurant and then won best restaurant of Ireland in 2008. He then sold the restaurant and moved to Canada where he opened Siddartha’s Indian Kitchen on Commercial Drive in late 2011.

What did you want to be growing up?

Commercial Pilot – since I wore glasses, I knew I could not do that in India.

What was your passion growing up?

I was always very artistic, I like colours, did lots of paintings, got into cooking, and liked to play with colours and create art.

What challenges you as a Chef?

  • How creative cooking and how appealing it can be with passion and love.
  • Being consistent with the staff, being happy, taste daily which is a big thing.

Name 5 Spices you love to cook with

  1. Cilantro
  2. Mint
  3. Cumin
  4. Cardamom
  5. Currey leaves

The First Dish:

Vegetable Heaven

Vegetable Heaven

Korma sauce (no nuts)

Portobello mushroom

Butternut squash

Beets

Tomato

Peppers – roasted in cinnamon, cumin and garlic

Cilantro pesto

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Personally everyone has an image of Indian cooking, cooking vegetables until they are too soft. Cooking is an art which we can show looks, taste, aroma and should satisfy all our senses. My vegetables are roasted so you get flavour and standout character.

What is your Favourite Food?

At home: Kidney Bean & Rice Curry

In a restaurant: a good pasta

From my mom: Fenugreek Parathas

What are your favourite Restaurants outside of your own?

  • Cinch Grill on Robson
  • La Grotta Del Formaggio ‏
  • Kishimoto
  • House of Dosa

 The Second Dish:

Paneer Stuffed Chicken Breast

Paneer Stuffed Chicken Breast with apricot and cumin sauce and roasted vegetables

Chicken breast stuffed with paneer, pickled spices and cloves.

Served with roasted local vegetables and apricot and cinnamon, cumin sauce.

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Except the spice everything is locally produced, seasonal vegetables. Anyone can make it at home, simple and fast to cook.

What do you do in your Off Time?

  • Gardening
  • Taking photos of Vancouver
  • Internet surfing
  • Family time

What is your definition of Perfection?

An artist is never perfect he keeps on creating something, an artist is never satisfied. I am always experimenting with flavours and dishes.

The Third Dish:

Chicken Haryali

Chicken Haryali

Spinach mousse cooked with Siddarthas hot sauce with ginger and garlic.

Chicken marinated with fenugreek leaves, and creamy garlic and yogurt

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Chicken Harialy is usually drenched in spinach, my version everything is a standout from the ingredients to the chicken.

Who are your Mentors?

  • My elder aunt – who taught me how to cook
  • Chankya – philosopher
  • My mom
  • My uncle

Tell me about your interest in Art

Oil paintings and anything with bright colours. I spend a lot of time studying the arrangement of colours which gives me new inspiration.

Tell me about your Hot Sauce

I created my own hot sauce without any preservatives. Concentrate of spices and chillis took me a while to fine tune it, lots of experimenting. We now bottle it and sell it at the restaurant. I also make my own Tamarind Sauce.

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak