Ambrish Damani wants to take Food Rack and its unique recipes across India
Very few people can juggle and achieve success with two things but designer Ambrish Damani has fashionably done so. The couturier has dabbled into all things culinary and has struck the right chords. A self-taught chef, Damani launched his cloud kitchen, Food Rack, last year around this time and he had a hectic time delivering wholesome food to the doorsteps of his patron throughout the lockdown. His multi-cuisine venture, serving vegetarian options in Thai, Mexican, Lebanese, Italian and other popular cuisines, has become very popular among the city’s food aficionados, who swear by his freshly-cooked, hygienic, quality-controlled and tasty dishes. The lockdown seems to have worked in favour of Food Rack... It’s been a blessing in disguise. I have had a fantastic lockdown because of Food Rack. I had already established my repertoire before the lockdown so when people thought of having some freshly-cooked international cuisine that’s delicious and safe, I instantly cropped up in their minds. At times I have been in the kitchen from five in the morning to seven in the evening making food for over 140 guests.
What encouraged you to start Food Rack?
I launched Food Rack around November last year. My mom has been a great cook and I inherited her passion for cooking. I used to cook often and get appreciated for my skills. Though I studied fashion and started a fashion house, my love for rustling up delicious meals did not wane. So, I just took the plunge.
How difficult was it managing the studio and the kitchen?
It wasn’t difficult at all during the lockdown because all my concentration was on Food Rack. However, as things are becoming normal once again I am feeling a bit jittery as to how to manage both. I am looking for options to club both the things at one place and work it out.
Tell us how challenging is it to come up with vegetarian versions of popular global nonveg recipes?
I love experimenting with flavours and textures. I read a lot about international cuisines, making notes of the base ingredients and sauces. It’s quite a challenge to convert a nonveg dish into a veg one and I usually don’t attempt recipes where the primary ingredient is meat. In the meals where meat is the secondary element, I replace it with tofu, paneer, soybean, sweet potato and pumpkin.
Your future plans?
I want to take my flavours all over India with pop-up restaurants. Also, I have tied up with a company that delivers food across the country, which will be operational soon.