Written by Team ParentCircle and published on 05 October 2021.
In a candid chat with ParentCircle, Chef Harish Rao reveals his biggest guilty pleasure and shares his memorable food trips that include traveling far and wide for, what else, but his favorite biryani!
There's nothing quite like the taste of a gooey slice of chocolate cake, a crispy bag of chips, a slice of pizza, a juicy burger, or even something as simple as a bowl of curd rice. For many, these amount to comfort food.
For Chef Harish Rao, Big Berry Foods, Chennai, there is only one comfort food for which he is ready to travel to all corners of the globe - biryani.
PC. Can you share what is your guilty pleasure?
HR. My all-time guilty pleasure is biryani, which I love eating anytime and anywhere. To me, food is a language by itself. And I can never say no to food. After all, cooking is my passion and food is my soul.
Food is an art form for me. The way it is prepared and the way it is presented is all so artistic and beautiful. Just looking at a dish could make someone want it - and to me, that is true art.
Watching food being cooked is beautiful too, like observing the chef slice, dice, stir, and flip. It is all so mesmerizing to watch, and just like the final presentation, it can make someone want to eat the dish being prepared.
PC. Tell us about one of the most amazing food trips you have been on?
HR. Whenever I plan a trip, I always keep the food factor in mind. In fact, one of the craziest things that I have done or still do is to travel to Nellore from Chennai. There is a biryani shop there, which is around 60-years-old, and this shop serves biryani even before the sun has risen. I love being among the early customers and tasting this special biryani. The experience is priceless.
People say I am crazy but I am okay with it. It's all about how mad you are to eat your favorite food that ends up giving you immense happiness. If it is making you happy, feel free to travel to any part of the world to grab your favorite food. I don't mind going to the same place again and again to eat the same dish.
I am a chef and an ardent foodie. I am living to eat and exploring food from all over the world is my dream. I don't just like food, I love it!
PC. Do you like to cook or order in?
HR. Well, I love cooking, especially when I am home. I usually avoid ordering food. I could be having a simple dosa and chutney for tiffin at my home and I derive immense satisfaction from this.
PC. What is your idea of comfort food?
HR. Everyone has their own set of comfort food, and my idea of comfort food is curd rice with any pickle. My work hours tend to vary and are not regular. While some days, I come home early, on other days, I hardly return home. In such situations, curd rice comes to my rescue.
PC. Do you follow a diet routine or any particular eating habits?
HR. I don't follow a routine or any eating habits as such when it comes to my usual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, my business revolves around food so I taste and eat throughout the day. In terms of dieting, I am not fond of diets, especially fad diets, and I do not recommend it to others as well. However, do keep a track of what and how much you are eating. Other than that, enjoy life and eat whatever you want.
PC. What is your favorite dessert?
HR. I am not a dessert person and don't crave it. Not like I have anything against desserts, but I can survive fine without having dessert or any kind of sugar, which is a good thing!
Well, food is not just about filling one's belly and satisfying hunger. For some people especially foodies, it is much more than that. It not only thrills their taste buds but can boost their moods too.
For some foodies, their ultimate guilty pleasure may be a hot steaming plate of biryani like chef Harish, while for others it could be a sinful cup of chocolate mousse.
What's your guilty pleasure?
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