Mani has worked at Minda for the past three years, preparing delicious meals for our clients across Home and Living (Supported Independent Living) houses. This year, Mani has also become the head chef at INC Cafe, our all inclusive cafe at Minda's Brighton neighbourhood.
Before moving to Adelaide and working at Minda, Mani worked at restaurants all over the world as an executive chef and opened many restaurants in various countries. We sat down with Mani to find out more about his fantastic experiences cooking for people from all different walks of life all around the world.
Where did you first train to become a chef?
I did my training in India during my time at a Hotel Management College, but I am always training as cooking is all about lifelong learning and training.
How long have you been a chef for?
I have been a chef for the past 21 years working all over the world.
What countries and restaurants have you worked in?
I have worked in the UAE, USA, Italy, Singapore, India and Australia. I worked for Emirates for quite some time and opened many restaurants where I was the executive chef. These include Wolfgang Puck in Dubai and Singapore airport, Giraffe in Dubai, five different Pret a Manger locations in across Dubai and Singapore, Costa Coffee in the UAE, Jacks Bar and Grill in the Dubai airport, Draft House in the Dubai airport as well as Noodle House. Once I arrived in Australia, I opened the Penfolds Wine Bar and Restaurant at the Adelaide airport and Maggie Beer outlets.
What has been your best experience as a chef?
When I started cooking, I was under the impression that after a few years I would be a pro! But there is always more to learn. Cooking is a great hobby but a very challenging profession as everyone has their own view on food.
What brought you to Minda?
I was working at Penfolds when COVID hit in 2020, so it was closed down during that time. My wife had begun a job at Minda and motivated me to apply for a role here. I haven't looked back since.
What is the best thing about working at Minda and in INC Cafe?
Working at Minda shows me that life is not about what you get, but what you give back. When clients come to me and say how much they like my food, it makes me very happy. And when people come to me and say they don't like it, I feel again that there is always more to learn about being a Chef!
Mani's delicious meals are available now at the Cafe with breakfast and lunch options available Monday to Friday. Come down to INC Cafe to taste them for yourself!