Chef Shilarna aka Chinu and Christophe met at a party in Goa, and since then they have been in awe of each other. With shared passion for food, they both are partners in their restaurant, Gaia Gourmet in Goa and also, in their catering business in Mumbai. This Indo-Swiss couple works around with wedding planners, individual clients, and they are constantly pushing their envelope to improve further. While they both do not indulge into a lot of personal fights, you will often spot them learning a thing or two from each other. Excerpts from the interview:
As we begin the New Year, tell us some of the key projects that you are working on for the year? What are we looking forward to?
Well, we are looking forward to moving into a bigger kitchen in Mumbai (yay!), we have opened an extension of Gaia Gourmet in Goa and have catered to beautiful weddings already in January in the sunshine state. I also have to write a cookbook for Penguin Random House that I am already six months late in writing; we are working on wellness concept with a special friend and also considering diving into the space of healthy food delivery! We also want to take steps towards our dream of a debauch/detox gourmet luxury boutique resort!
Every person has different sets of ideas to offer. How do you both maintain your synergy?
It helps that we are almost polar opposites when it comes to personality- I am loud, impulsive and argumentative whereas Chris is reserved, calm and rational. The yin-yang effect plays out very well especially for work related decisions!
When working on a project or ideas, how do you both come to a conclusion? Are the decisions amicable or do they end up in a debate?
The only time we fight is because of work or some stress related to work. Therefore we have very few fights about personal issues in our relationship. Usually the work debates start with me going full steam ahead about something I’ve just thought about and then Chris knocking reality into me step by step.
Tell us about some skills that you have learnt from each other.
Chinu: I have learnt that action is not always the best way forward. Sometimes you have to let things play out before taking a decision.
Chris: To become more organised.
What is the most annoying thing about each other?
Chinu: Indecisiveness! And chain smoking.
Chris: Her snoring.