Partiben Muniandy - Executive Chef, Eastern & Oriental Penang

Partiben Muniandy – Executive Chef Penang

Partiben Muniandy – Executive Chef, Eastern & Oriental Penang

In this interview, Partiben Muniandy, executive chef at Eastern & Oriental Penang, shares some insights into the hospitality industry.

What do you do?

My job as an Executive Chef requires me to oversee the operation in the kitchen of all our dining outlets while maintaining hygiene standards. I am also tasked with hiring, training, and managing the kitchen staff and arranging staffing schedules for all outlets. Besides that, daily, I lead pre-shift meetings with my team, where we test and develop new recipes and menus and determine plating and presentation plans. Part of my job also includes sourcing and evaluating quality ingredients as I order the required supplies for the kitchen while maintaining food costs.

How did you get into the industry?

I discovered my interest in cooking and desired to become a chef while working part-time at a restaurant, waiting for my SPM results. Watching how the kitchen works and seeing the chefs’ efforts in preparing the food ignited my passion for cooking. Then, my ambition shifted from being an electrical engineer to a chef.

A fond memory from your childhood that stands out?

One of my fondest memories from my childhood is sitting in the dining room at my grandmother’s house and feasting on the home-cooked meal prepared with love by my mother and grandmother. The flavours of the meal always linger in my mind, as it is impossible to replicate that homely taste.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is when guests and colleagues appreciate and compliment the food we have prepared. It gives me a sense of pride knowing that people enjoy eating my food.

What’s one of Partiben Muniandy’s favourite food and beverage pairings?

Assam Laksa and Pat Poh Tea.

What’s one of the funniest incidents you’ve witnessed behind the scenes?

During the food pick up for one of our events, we suddenly realized that a portion was missing from the tray, and a debate happened between the service and kitchen staff as to where the portion had gone. I told them to stop debating and instead quickly solve the issue by preparing a new portion to be served. As we were in the midst of preparing the new portion, I suddenly received a text from our General Manager saying, “Hi Chef, I have just tasted one of the dishes that you will be serving tonight during my rounds, and it is very nice, we should include this on our menu.” It was then that I realized where the portion had gone, and it was definitely one of the funniest incidents that had happened.

The perfect day off would be…

Going on a biking trip to Cambodia.

What does Partiben Muniandy do for fun?

I’m an adventure bike rider, so I enjoy going on various excursions with my group.

What would you like guests to know about the Eastern & Oriental Hotel?

I’d like guests to know that we offer authentic classic and modern vibrant cuisines using fresh local and imported ingredients.

How have you grown in your profession?

After years in the industry, my knowledge of food has definitely broadened, and I am now more adventurous when it comes to food. I have explored a variety of cuisines and am always willing to learn from them as every culture is different, and the way they handle and use ingredients differs from each other.

What do you want people to know about being an Executive Chef as a profession?

It requires a lot of passion to be an Executive Chef, and a lot of brainstorming work has to be done to create the perfect dish. An eye for detail is also essential, as the smallest detail will affect the way a dish tastes or looks. We place great importance on the delivery of our food, as each step of the guest experience has been well thought out and carefully executed.

What practices do you currently implement or hope to implement to work towards social responsibility and sustainability in the future?

We are currently focusing on sourcing our ingredients from local and sustainable sources while minimizing food wastage and implementing eco-friendly practices in the kitchen.

What can guests look forward to in the upcoming months?

For now, guests can definitely look forward to our Ramadhan “Buka Puasa” menu where we are adding classic Asian cuisines to the mix, with some dishes featuring home recipes from our chefs.

Read more interviews like this one with Partiben Muniandy here, and stay updated with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations here and here.

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