Guntas Sethi Bhasin - Food Was Both a Form of Art and Science (Head Chef at Chef Guntas, Mumbai)

Guntas Sethi Bhasin

I’m a Patissiere Chef trained from Le Cordon Bleu, London, and the founder and head chef at “Chef Guntas” in Khar, Mumbai where we specialize in customized cakes and desserts! 

1. Tell us about your background and journey. 

I grew up in a food fervent Punjabi household where I inherited my passion for the culinary arts. The kitchen has always been my happiest place. I spent most of my after-school hours of cooking or baking. 

Although the post-high school, I took an academic path to pursue a career in accounting and finance, the kitchen continued to be my haven and my biggest source of contentment. 

I cherished my time off-work in the kitchen creating recipes, watching every possible culinary show online or on the television, and trying their recipes, reading about the same, and exploring new gastronomical delights. 

After completing my Chartered Accountancy, I decided that I did not want to wait to pursue my dream of being a pâtisser. Le Cordon Bleu was a school I always dreamt of so I applied right away. It was my first and only choice. 

2. What led you to take up this career path? 

Growing up in Guwahati there was limited exposure to pâtisserie but during our frequent trips to Kolkata and Dehradun, I was always fascinated by their pâtisserie culture, Flurrys and Cookie Jar in Kolkata as well as Ellora’s and the numerous homemakers in Dehradun. 

And then through MasterChef Australia, I could understand how pâtisserie is both arts and science combined together. This really drew me in. I wanted to explore how to mix different textures, flavors, the precisions. It’s a world to explore on its own. 

3. Does one's approach change when cooking professionally and at home? 

Yes absolutely. When you cook at home, freshness is the main focus, fresh produce, fresh service. 

Also, it’s made for limited portion sizes. Professionally, you have to also consider other important factors: it’s about the consistency of the ingredients, storage, transportability as well as the economics of the costs which comes into play. 

4. What’s one of your earliest memories in the kitchen? 

Growing up, everyone at home had to contribute to the household chores and that’s how I started cooking. I was always fascinated with my parent’s culinary experiments so was easily drawn to them. 

Although it was simple home-cooked meals, I realized that food was both a form of art and science. I especially enjoyed doing bbq/ tandoor in the garden. 

5. Is there a dish you particularly associate yourself with? 

Pull-me-up/ chocolate avalanche cake. It has layers of moist chocolate sponge with chocolate ganache, hazelnut praline. toasted hazelnut and brownie bites with dripping chocolate fudge sauce on top. 

With the lockdown, there were not a lot of restaurant-style desserts experiences available so I wanted to create something that people can enjoy. This cake allows you the experience that. 

6. What makes you appreciate a particular dish and talk about it on your blog? 

The simplicity of the methods and using seasonal produce for the flavors. I like recipes big on flavor. Also re-creating dishes from different parts of the world so that the flavors can be easily cooked at our homes. 

7. Can cooking be learned at culinary schools or natural talent is required? 

While professional cooking schools help in learning new skill sets/techniques, cooking goes beyond the skills. It’s the love you put into the food that lends a soul to your food. 

Practise helps you understand your product and flavors better and that’s imperative. 

Hence cooking is a talent that is improved by the skill set you learn and practice. 

8. Which is your favorite book and why? 

“Around the world in 450 recipes”. It’s not just a cookbook, it’s like traveling around the world and experiencing such diverse cuisines. 

It was gifted to me by my sister when I turned 21 and it’s my go-to book whenever I want to be inspired. 

Instagram ID - @chefguntas

Guntas Sethi Bhasin

I’m a Patissiere Chef trained from Le Cordon Bleu, London, and the founder and head chef at “Chef Guntas” in Khar, Mumbai where we specialize in customized cakes and desserts! 

Also a recipe curator by passion, I document my cooking adventures on my Instagram page. 

Guntas Sethi Bhasin 
Head Chef at “Chef Guntas” 

Interviewed By - Aditi Ashok