Starting the month of love with one of the best in the field of food and beverage, Chef Aga Thammar Murthuza, the new Executive Chef of Annapurna Hotel has firsthand experience with various culinary settings.

Fr!day: The driving factor for you to become involved with food and becoming a chef?

Chef: It's my mom I remember every time. The passion that I developed towards culinary skill took me to the journey of becoming a chef.

Fr!day: Favorite ingredient to cook?

Chef: Sumac – It a tangy, lemony spice mix which I use in my Mediterranean and middle eastern cooking, whether it is salad to season or grilled fish or chicken and also sprinkling it on hummus.

Fr!day: What’s your definition of comfort food? What’s your favorite?

Chef: Food, enjoyable to eat andthat makes the consumer feel happy whether it is healthy or not is comfort food. My favorite is chocolate mousse.

Fr!day: The most essential kitchen tool, you cannot go without?

Chef: My knife

Fr!day: Your inspiration for ideas for dishes?

Chef: A chef must always think like a scientist, organize like an accountant, plate like an artist and cook like a grandma.

Fr!day: That one thing, everyone who cooks should know.

Chef: The rules of kitchen – i.e. pay attention to food safety and hygiene. It could be how to use a knife or how to measure the ingredient, doneness of the product etc.

Fr!day: What is your signature dish for people to try out this Valentine’s Day?

Chef: Strawberries in wine! It is a simple traditional Italian dessert that is refreshing finish to a perfect Valentine's Day.