April 13, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

A chef should never be angry

The Nepal Weekly
August 15, 2023

‘Be polite and tolerant,’ advises Ram Bahadur

Ram Bahadur Khadka has now been working as the Chef at the Hotel Yellow Pagoda situated at Jamal, Kathmandu for the last eight years. He had worked in many restaurants and hotels before joining Hotel Yellow Pagoda the chief cook. He had to pass through many ups and downs and many twists and turns in the life before he became the Chef.

“I had a keen interest to become a Chef during my childhood,” recalls Ram Bahadur in his early-forties. When I was a little boy, I had a dream to wear the white cap, which the chef of a standard hotel puts on,” says Ram Bahadur with a smile on his face and a sense of satisfaction in his expression.

He had passed through many difficulties in the beginning before working in the kitchen of the hotel as its in-charge. “I had even cleaned utensils, worked as steward and gradually learned how to cook,” says Ram Bahadur. His life was full of struggle when he just arrived in Kathmandu at the age of 16. He had the experience of working in more than a dozen restaurants in Kathmandu in the past.

Born in a small remote village of Okhaldhunga, he reached Kathmandu as a teen-ager with the aim of earning something and standing on his own feet. His father was in the army while mother was a house wife as well as a farmer. However, he never had the desire to work in the field during childhood.

He left the village after completing his S.L.C examinations.

After gaining some experience in a Chinese restaurant and a few other restaurants at Thamel, he had got the opportunity to work as a Chef in Hotel Landmark situated in Durbarmarg, where he spent some five years. He had also got the opportunity to work in the kitchen as a helper in Hotel Everest. Then he joined the job at Hotel Yellow Pagoda, where he got both reputation and satisfaction.

“I can now make Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Italian and other continental dishes,” says Ram Bahadur. However, he now focuses on Nepali dishes.

According to Ram Bahadur, the eating habit of people have changed over the past few years. “Now people are more health conscious and they don’t prefer oily and spicy food, he says. If we compare the eating habit of people some ten years ago, now people prefer simple and boiled food items, he adds. Now people don’t like spicy and hot foods. Now many people are attracted to Nepali food these days, points out Ram Bahadur.

He had served food to many top political leaders as per their choice. “Prime Minister and CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Prachanda prefers roasted chicken, grilled chicken and boiled vegetables while, Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba loves boiled vegetables the most,” according to him. Similarly, CPN-UML chairman K.P. Sharma Oli likes asparagus soup while, artists Bhuwan K.C. and Rajesh Hamal prefers continental dishes.

Though he had got job offers from Dubai, Qatar and Malaysia, he has no interest to work in these countries. However, he will be interested to move towards USA, Europe and Canada if he gets good opportunity there.

Ram Bahadur, who has served thousands of people with a variety of delicious food prepared by him, however, prefers simple homemade food cooked by his wife. His favourite dishes include Dhindo made of millet or buckwhear, roasted tomato pickle, black dal, green mustard.and gundruk. Till now he has handled around 1,000 people in a single party without much difficulty.

“Besides cooking good food, a successful cook should never become angry, be polite, have a smiling face, show politeness in his/her behavior, and must show tolerance to all,” according to Ram Bahadur.

He wants to work in such a manner that people always remember him as a good chef, remember the delicious food he had prepared for them.