Meet the chef - Ashwani Rangta, GupShup
- Credit: Lucas Smith Photography
Hailing from Shimla, the Northern Indian town in the Himalayas, Rangta has gained a reputation for his excellent Indian cuisine at Hale’s glittering GupShup restaurant. Here he reveals his favourite foodie memories and moments
First dish you learned to cook: I clearly remember cooking kheer (rice pudding) with my mum and occasionally making roti and chai at home when I was around 10 years old. Chef Mukul Dimri taught me poulet sauté chasseur in my first year of catering college in Shimla, India.
Most vivid childhood food memory: My mum used to cook a variety of dishes during various Indian festivals such as Holi, Diwali, Shivratri at home and I’d always look forward to those. I used to travel with my father a lot and still remember my first ever butter chicken and rogan josh with butter naan. I relished every bit of it.
Most memorable meal out: It’s impossible to choose just one. There was the chicken burger at Ice and spice truffle in Bengaluru, Indochinese at Caesars in Dubai, biryani at Kebabs and Kurries, Bengaluru and the modern Indian food at Trisend Studio in Dubai.
Grain – rice
Vegetable – beetroot
Meat – chicken
Shellfish – king prawn
Fish – black cod
Spices – Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric, cumin and coriander
All these ingredients will always feature in my menu as they are versatile and I love to experiment with them.
Ingredients you loathe: I don’t loathe any ingredient but I don’t like the smell of truffles.
Favourite place to eat: Totally depends what I am in the mood for. For kebabs and curries it has to be GupShup just because they are the best around. For sushi it’s Yo Yo and Nudo as its always so fresh. I have a very long list as there are just so many amazing restaurants in Manchester and Cheshire.
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Describe your cooking style in three words: Innovative, soulful and flavourful.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? Army officer. I grew up near Army Cantonment Area in Kasauli, Shimla and I was always inspired by them.
Favourite country when it comes to food: Japanese cuisine has drawn my attention over the years because of its precision in cooking, progressiveness and use of interesting ingredients.
Tell us about the menu at GupShup: As the seasons change, the produce from the land changes because the soil from the earth changes. Every dish is cooked organically and nothing is cooked in a hurry. The menu at GupShup is modern in its approach and very traditional when it comes to taste and flavour. We have covered regional cuisine from India and combined it with global ingredients to give it a progressive approach.
What are the food philosophies? Cook with passion and love. Great food brings happiness and it’s the best way to show love.
Who would be your dream dinner guest? Sachin Tendukar is my childhood hero and I would love to cook for him again.
What’s your food guilty pleasure? Tandoori lamb chops in GupShup and ramen at Shoryu.
When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you get up to? I am a passionate cricket lover and play club cricket for my local cricket club and also enjoy going shopping with my lovely wife Richika.
199 Ashley Road, Hale,
0161 820 2222