ABOUT MEERAN GANI MANZOOR
I am Meeran Gani Manzoor, I am the head chef for Blue Haven Collections. As part of the company, we have 2 different properties, Old Bank House, Kinsale and Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale. I manage both properties, which include a variety of eateries, including Fishmarket Bistro, RARE, a high end fine dining restaurant, Hamlets Street Food Gastro Garden, Old Bank House Café and Vikkis Modern Tapas Restaurant in Cork. Tabasu @ Old Bank House, a regional Indian tapas restaurant, is our latest venture.
I gained my culinary degree from studying in the University of West London and worked in the Metropolitan Hotel London, Dorchester Collections, USA, Belgium and now I am in Ireland.
I grew up in Chennai, India. I remember the very moment which changed my thoughts towards food. I was 9 years old when I learned to make the first sunny side up. Watching the raw egg cooking and turning into something different was indeed special. Food for me has always been a great adventure and something magical. Upon finishing my Leaving Cert, my Dad gave me the opportunity to choose from 3 different courses, 1. Aeronautical engineering 2. Computer engineering or 3. Culinary arts (only because I was adamant). I chose culinary and my Mom wasn’t very pleased. Her words were “don’t you see how difficult it is to be in kitchen with the heat”, and to this day, she’s not happy that I am a chef due to the heat and fire in the kitchen. As the trends change, the culinary scene gets more and more special with time. Dealing with food is like dealing with a mirror; it reflects on the love and care we put in preparing it and we can see the difference in the end. Food doesn’t lie.
My journey towards the culinary industry is filled with memories of people I’ve travelled with all these years. I must be honest here and admit it wasn’t easy- culturally, technically, with communication and working culture. The change for me was constant because of the plan I had set for myself. I wanted to travel as much as I could, and despite the tedious visa application process, I never gave up. To fit in, in any country, and to start from zero in a new world was the challenging part, whether it be London, Newcastle, USA, Belgium or Ireland. With all these changes, wherever I went, I would try to understand the place and values through cookbooks, my favorite being ‘No Reservation’ by Anthony Bourdain. He was the chef who opened my eyes to different cultures and respect for food, and the formula to combine both.
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