Kelvin Cheung is chef and owner of two restaurants in Mumbai—Bastian and One Street Over. He recently hosted the first season of You Got Chef’d, a food-centric web series on Gobble’s YouTube channel
Tell us about You Got Chef’d.
I had a blast hosting You Got Chef’d in association with Dewar’s on Gobble. I was paired with old friends like Shibani Dandekar (singer, actor and model) and had the opportunity to share a good laugh with a few friends I met. While it was a competition based on specific themes, like date night, it was far more about entertaining each other as well as our viewers.
What made you a proponent of gluten-free food?
My wife is gluten intolerant and my mother-in-law has severe gluten allergy. So I know just how difficult it is to dine out and not have many options to choose from. I want everyone to not just have options, but have exciting options, when they eat wherever I am cooking. I will cater to any and all food intolerances and do my very best [to make] my restaurants inclusive.
What is your culinary specialty? And your personal favourite?
I guess that would be cooking delicious comfort food. My personal favourite changes all the time. Currently, I love burgers, noodles, and doughnuts. Super healthy, right?
You are a Chinese chef born in Canada, raised in the US and living in Mumbai. How does that reflect in your cooking?
While I cook North American comfort food in general, my Chinese heritage can always be seen in my cooking, whether it be in the spices used or making my own breads like bao buns and mantous. North America does not have one distinct type of food, like, say, Italy or even China. And that definitely reflects in my menus.
In a span of six to seven years, you have gained immense popularity in India. What did you do differently?
Instead of listening to all the [different] opinions, I cooked from my heart. I only cook and serve what I would want to eat, what I enjoy, and what I believe is a quality dish.