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Wilson T. Gomes is the head-chef at Indya Bistro, Carlton North. He brings his Indian heritage and love of exotic cuisine to the restaurant.
Where did you grow up?
When did you realise you wanted to be a chef?
My love of cooking originates from when I was a child at my mother’s table. As a young man, I travelled to Mumbai to gain experience as an apprentice and commis chef. But it was my desire for travel and adventure on the high seas that led me to work on many different luxury cruise ships, igniting my passion for quality food and exotic flavours. Surrounded by elegant style and opulence, I became fascinated with cuisine from around the world, as I literally travelled from port to port, tasting new cuisine styles along the journey.
What does it take to be a successful chef?
You need to have a passion and love for food. Your success is measured by the enjoyment of your customers. When the plates come back to the kitchen spotless, I take that as a measure of success.
What's the worst job you have ever had?
To pay the bills while studying, I tried my hand at the typical Indian telemarketing role. It’s an ironic change that I now bring enjoyment at dinner time, rather than annoyance!
What is your signature dish?
I enjoy cooking Saffron Prawn and Marinated Lamb. They have become very popular at Indya Bistro.
What is unique about your restaurant?
Indya Bistro is very modern - its not your typical curry house. We make all the old favourites but the menu is fairly unique. We use fresh local produce and I think the flavours are more suited to the Aussie palate.
What is the chef serving in heaven?
If he’s aiming to please, he might be whipping up one our vegetable curries with fresh crunchy vegetables, served with some hot naan bread.
What is the most bizarre dish you have ever tried?
I’ve travelled to a lot of exotic places and am fascinated at the similarities and differences between regions. What’s considered bizarre in one place is a delicacy elsewhere.
What is your biggest food indulgence?
Although we don’t serve cakes at Indya Bistro, I secretly want to make a Taj Mahal shaped cake one day.
What ingredient are you obsessed with right now?
I am perfecting my own mixture of spices. Its taking a while to get it right, but I think we must be getting close.
What is your best tip for home cooks?
Try new things and learn from experience. Planning is the key... get all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. A well planned meal won’t mess up your kitchen and lets you think about what you are doing.