Jagdish Singh, exec chef of India's Castle, on passing the ginger test
Biggest mistake a chef can make on the line: Losing your composure -- and yelling -- when you're faced with stressful situations.
Describe the biggest challenges facing today's chefs: There's heavy competition in this industry; there are just so many places to eat -- and great ones at that. For a chef to have a successful cooking career, they really need to be polished and experienced with all sorts of different foods from all sorts of different regions. There's so much talent and expertise out there that you have to constantly be innovative.
Best nugget of advice for a culinary-school graduate: Cooking should be pursued by those with a genuine passion for the craft.
Which chef has most inspired you? My mother is the reason for my success and my creativity. When I was young, I had no idea the profound impact my mother would have on me as I watched her cook, but I now know that everything I am today is because of her. I'm sure she'd be proud of me, and I hope she's out there somewhere watching me do what she, herself, was so good at. I've also been inspired by chef Sanjeev Kapoor. He's truly a master of the art of cooking, and his style and knowledge about world foods has inspired me to keep learning and become more like him.
If you hadn't become a chef, what would you be doing right now? I probably would have gotten a degree in design engineering or some sort of an automotive degree where I could design and make cars from scratch, using only human hands. But I'm so glad that I became a chef, because it really gives me time to appreciate life in the form of an art all while feeding a bunch of hungry people and exposing them to the great Indian culture through food.