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Management Principles Seen Though Cookery Prism

Trust celebrity chef and entrepreneur Harpal Sokhi to do a thing differently, he will surprise you every single time. So, right from his signature ‘namak shamak, namak shamak, daall dete hain, namak shamak’ catch line on television cookery shows, and his striking double coloured turban, to acting in a Bollywood movie, to participating in a reality television show, the multi-talented chef has a way with audiences worldwide.

Now he has shocked us again, penning a unique book “to spice up” leadership and management principles through the prism of cookery. His latest book The Biryani Leader, launched in Chandigarh on Monday, seeks to strike an unconventional connection between arguably India’s favourite dish biryani, the complex rice dish renowned for its rich flavour and distinct aroma, and management, which only Chef Harpal can.

Management Principles Seen Though Cookery Prism, Lifeinchd

Photo By: Life In Chandigarh

This engaging and insightful book, published by StoryMirror, is a must-read for aspiring leaders, seasoned professionals, and anyone seeking to enhance his management skills. It is available at leading bookstores and online retailers.

“The title of the book, The Biryani Leader, captures the essence of my experiences – my journey of learning, exploring, making mistakes, bouncing back from them and eventually growing. Management may appear to be very complicated, and your goal may appear to be unachievable, but let me tell one thing: It’s not as hard as you think!” the bubbly chef shared with your own news website during a one-on-one interaction on the sidelines of the launch.

In a preface to the book, he says “In my journey to becoming a chef, I was taught about the different aspects of cooking. Whether it was the ingredients, the recipes, running the kitchen or serving the authentic flavours, I did it all. But what struck me the most was the management side of things. Somehow, my brain started to automatically link every minute detail of cooking to management.

“Everyone loves biryani, and that is why I believe it is the perfect way to know and understand management. As a chef, I can relate anything to food and come up with a reference for you. But in this book, I chose biryani because I believe that nothing is as complex as human beings as a perfectly layered biryani. A successful and smooth-running establishment with multiple divisions resembles a multi-layered biryani”, he adds.

Elaborating further, he shares, “Biryani is complex, and so is management. Through the art of biryani-making, we can learn about team management. Just as every ingredient plays a crucial role in biryani, every member of an organisation has a part to play in making things work. Everyone has his own set of responsibilities. One slip from any team member can cause everything to fall apart. That’s how vulnerable a perfect biryani can be”.

In his foreword to the book, Subroto Bagchi, founder Mindtree, author and public servant, writes: “Reading Harpal, I think about my mother, relating every word of management, of Six Sigma Quality I learnt in Japan, to how she fed us, from supply chain management, to inventory control to cash flow to circular economy, not to leave aside customer satisfaction.”

“My favourite sentence from the book is ‘A perfect team is hard to achieve, and so is making good biryani. But it’s not impossible’”, says Puneet Chatwal, MD of Taj Hotels, in his testimonial. “This is such a profound takeaway – converting the impossible to possible through team work, determination and united purpose. A very engaging read indeed and a must for all in the field of hospitality”, he adds.

Management Principles Seen Though Cookery Prism, Lifeinchd

Sharing his thoughts in another testimonial, Dr. Chef Parvinder Singh Bali, Corporate Chef – The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development, says: “Through practical examples, insightful anecdotes, and well researched strategies, you (Chef Harpal) have provided readers with comprehensive guide to how to comprehend styles of management through culinary processes. From menu development and ingredient sourcing to staff training and customer service, every aspect of food and management is meticulously covered.”

“I have learned to expect the unexpected from Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi”, shares Ajay Gupta, Managing Director, Capital Foods, which owns brands like Ching’s Secret and Smith Jones. “His culinary journey, as a chef and entrepreneur, has led him to make an unconventional connection between biryani and management. It is sure to whet the appetite of those looking to make their management style more masaaledar!”

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, who runs chains of restaurants in India and abroad, feels that hospitality sector should be looked at as a career of choice by the young, at par with engineer, management, medical, administrative services, and other seemingly more attractive career options. For this to happen, parents need to be supportive of their children and not continue to look down upon it.

Of course there is this initial struggle one has to go through, “and we have all gone through it”, but then the rewards of patience and focussed hard work are there for everyone to see, he emphasised. At the same he had a word of caution for the youth aspiring to enter the seemingly glamour world of hospitality, “it will be wrong to see only the success part of the story and not the years of struggle that went into building a success story”.

Sharing his own ultimate vision, which is shared by many other leaders in the culinary domain, of elevating Indian cuisine to the global stage through opening of fine dining restaurants, Chef Harpal, whose popular show ‘Turban Tadka’ holds the distinction of being among the highest-rated culinary shows in the history of television, maintained that Indian cuisine has “arrived”. The very fact that people around the world have started adopting several of the regional Indian cuisines in their kitchens is testimony to their increasing popularity, he added.  by APR Media House is an enjoyable digital reading startup, which keeps you abreast of the latest meaningful happenings of interest to large sections of folks in Chandigarh tricity, and expats from the region. It has been promoted by a public spirited senior journalist and media consultant with a view to encourage good quality and healthy journalism, a dire need of the times.

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