'We are cooking for the brain': Chef Rishim Sachdeva on his television show Fit & Fast - Fuel your Brain
A believer of you are what you eat, Chef Rishim Sachdeva has turned into a host with his first television show, Fit & Fast - Fuel Your Brain. The show aims to go beyond food and has called experts on board to address mental health. On World Brain Day, we speak to the chef about his show, the correlation between food and brain and the must-have items to boost mental fitness. Excerpts:
Q: Tell us the concept of your show, Fit & Fast - Fuel your Brain. What all issues do you plan to address through this show?
Rishim Sachdeva: This show has a very interesting premise. We are cooking for the brain, or shall I say using ingredients that help the brain get the right nutrition. The show focuses on lifestyle balance we can achieve with food and the wider message is to feed the brain the right things at the right time. We had a neurologist on board who helped explain the structure of the brain and how it affects everything like sleep, memory, etc. So, we worked backwards with that and created some amazing dishes.
Q: How can we achieve mental fitness via food? Does our method of cooking also play a role?
RS: Mental fitness is more like a lifestyle change and food has a very important part to play in that process. As far as cooking techniques are concerned, they help you explore more and make the food tastier. If a particular ingredient needs to cure for six hours to make a tasty, juicy and fresh bite - this can only be understood with techniques. It makes food tastier and that's the bottom line.
Q: When were you first introduced to the correlation between mental health and food?
RS: The day I had a black coffee before going to bed – it was a long sleepless night. Most of us understand it and we have been exposed to it from a very long time, it was about time that we put a name to it and document it. When the show came along, and I started reading more and more about how food affects our mental wellbeing, that was the time I could exactly pinpoint the correlation.
Q: Tell us some foods that we must include in our diet to achieve mental fitness.
RS: Oats, fatty fish, fresh herbs, seeds, nuts, honey and dark chocolate.
Q: What made you choose this show to make your television debut?
RS: I was drawn to the concept. Showing recipes is one thing, but showing meaningful recipes, where I feel I am able to make a positive change in somebody's life convinced me.
Q: You have always taken a keen interest in reading, is writing a book on cards?
RS: Yes, it is. I am actually at the last stage to finish off a book- it is a very interesting and helpful read (not just recipes, a way of making you better at cooking). More on that later though!
Q: What do you plan to do next? Tell us about your upcoming projects.
RS: I am looking forward to a very positive happy addition to my family. Currently focusing on that and being responsible with close friends and family. Work-wise, I have a very interesting project coming up in a few months.
1. Favourite restaurant in Mumbai: Way too many! Can only pick cuisine wise - Regional food - O Pedro; Asian - Hello Guppy; Coffee - Koinonia; Breakfast - Kitchen Garden
2. Favourite Bar in Mumbai: Toast and Tonic
3. Three must-have ingredients in your kitchen: A jar of preserved cabbage - Kimchi, Whey - it tastes amazing and emulsifies sauces, and good quality local made cheese - Indian brie or Buratta.
4. A vegetable you don’t like: Can’t think of one! Honestly, I am not a massive fan of pips like the ones in aubergines or okra but I do like aubergine and okra - strange!
5. What’s your dream restaurant would be: Where food is tasty, the team is happy and guests create memories.
The show broadcasts on LF channel every Wednesday at 7 pm.