Though he started working in the IT field, Loki knew that cooking is his passion. At the age of 35, Loki resigned and applied to MasterChef Australia. On November 26, the reality show finalist will be curating an eight-course dinner at The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt. Some of his trademark dishes along with exclusive wines to pair from Kanniyakumari to Chennai will be showcased. “Though cooking is my passion, it came to the limelight only after meeting my wife. After my journey with MasterChef Australia, I have been curating multiple food pop-ups and retreats, both in India and overseas,” says chef Loki.
Speaking about the eight-course dinner that he has curated for the event Edesia, the chef explains, “While growing up, we used to travel across south India frequently in trains. I have a lot of food memories associated with it. For the gastronomic tour, I thought it would be best to display a few of my childhood favourite dishes from these train journeys. Each dish will be having an interesting story to narrate. Some of the dishes include bun parotta, salna, rose cookies and jigarthanda with a quirky twist. For me, cooking is about expressing and not pleasing someone. When you prepare food, you have to enjoy the process and know the flavours.”
He also has set up a programme called The Fellowship With Loki to support individuals who wanted to make it big in the culinary field. “We started it in 2019 to create an eco-system to support aspiring culinary creators. There are many out there who dream of becoming chefs or food entrepreneurs. When I was young, I didn’t get any support. So, I know the struggle. That’s the reason I launched this programme. Being a member of the culinary community, I have to support newcomers and make their dream come true. They should be unapologetic of what they wanted to become,” he remarks.
Over the years, the city’s culinary scene has evolved, notices Loki. “People are open to world cuisine now; they are experimental with the food. The best part of Chennai is that we do keep our traditions alive but at the same time, also accept changes.”
The funds raised from Edesia organised by Madras Mylapore Round Table 3 and Madras Mylapore Ladies Circle 4 will be used for HIV-affected women and children.