<br>The chef, whose latest book ‘The Biryani Leader’ was launched recently, says it is a result of his thought process over the past decade.
Someone who has worked with major five-stars in the country besides launching multiple restaurants, including Karigari, BB Jaan, Dhadoom, Chika Chika, and Twist of Tadka in his three-decade career, he says that while chefs are taught that food is all about art and science, there is another element at play too.
"Why do we forget management both at the macro and micro level? You keep a vessel on fire and you add spices and all, not realising the oil is so hot that everything will burn. Minute things warrant attention and should become standard practice. I maintain the Japanese principle of 5S pillars of Japanese management Sort (Seiri), Set in Order (Seiton), Shine (Seiso), Standardise (Seiketsu), and Sustain (Shitsuke) are at play even in the kitchen," says this IHM Bhubaneswar pass-out.
Adding that he sees biryani as a wholesome dish, Sokhi remembers approaching publishers with the idea of writing a book on food and management, but always being requested to work on a cookbook.
"But why would I do that? There are enough floating around. Moreover, the effort was to bring forth something path-breaking and not walk the road mostly taken."
Priding himself on wearing "unique chef coats and twin-coloured turbans," he feels the book is bound to do well.
"Also, biryani is the dish that sells the most in the country. There are more than 50 ingredients but each one has its own taste."
While he feels that social media has made things interesting for food aficionados, the chef says it wise not to follow everything floating blindly.
"There may be 10 different recipes for a dish. Just see what is common in all of them and evaluate. Also, I strongly believe that it is important to search for knowledge that is being given by locals," says Sokhi, who would be opening more restaurants and lounge bars across the country this year.
Believing that it is his state of mind that ultimately decides if the dish will come out well, Sokhi says whenever he is disturbed, he makes it a point not to go near the fire.
"I would tell my assistants to take over and go for a walk. Unless I am at peace with myself, the product will not come out well," concludes the chef whose comfort food is a bowl of biryani cooked by his wife.
(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at email@example.com)