AN INTERVIEW WITH CHEF HOM
Nepal is a small land geographically located between India in the South, and Tibet in the North. There are almost 27 million people in this country which is about the size of Victoria, Australia.
Our namesakes, the Gurkhas of Nepal, are known throughout history as brave and loyal soldiers. The Gurkhas were an honourable people; soldiers who fought alongside the British Empire in the first and second world wars. They are still an important part of the modern British Regiment.
If this is your first taste of Nepal, you can expect light and mild cuisine that highlights the subtle flavours of Asia.
Their strength and tenacity is revered amongst empires of old. But perhaps most noteworthy is their honest, cheerful outlook even in the face of adversity, and their appreciation of life’s simple pleasures.
Chef Hom embodies these wonderful traditional qualities and passes them on to the Australian people through his love of food, humanitarian concerns and generosity of spirit.
He is a rising star on the International Food scene here in Australia. Chef Hom is passionate about Nepal home and his adopted home, Australia. But at the core of it all is food… it is his tribute to his heritage and his way of bridging the divide between two cultures.
In this personal interview Chef Hom talks about his cooking, his life’s passion and his dreams for the future.
I started to act of my love of food and cooking from September 2009 shortly after moving to Australia. I was fortunate to be given a chance to learn cooking ‘starting from scratch’ at Crowne Plaza Pelican Waters and worked there for 4 ½ years before opening Gurkhali Nepalese Restaurant.
The Head Chef at the time had a very good heart for Nepal. I was studying cooking and he began to teach me everything he knew. I was so excited to be given a chance to cook. I became very nervous when he left and was replaced by a Scottish chef. I had learned so much but was afraid I wouldn’t be able to continue my training with the next chef. But I was so lucky!
The new Head Chef, Bryan Kinnaird, just loves Nepal and the Nepali too. He helped me more and more, teaching me so much about technique, flavor combinations, cooking styles and how to run a successful restaurant business. He has been my greatest supporter and continues to mentor me in every step of my ongoing success. I have never looked back!
…On Dreams and Gurkhali…
It was my dream to move Australia and further study, as I had heard a lot about it when I was in school. I remember the date… it was 20 April 2009 that I began my new life here. I just love the people and the whole country. The people here are much like my home country – naturally happy and relaxed.
My dream is to bring my culture and love of Nepali food to my Australian friends with more and more Gurkhali Restaurants around this beautiful country that is now my home. I have a dream to have everyone taste and notice the difference in my food – I hope they will love it, and perhaps they will sense the happiness in the cooking!
My menu is very different because it is the one and only Nepalese cuisine on the Sunshine Coast. It is in no way similar to any other restaurant – a truly unique experience. Our food is has very different flavours and spice combinations that people will love.
I also want my restaurant to be a place people can come, relax and feel good about life. The lovely cozy environment and view of the sea, our music and the colours, our culture and friendly customer service; all this give guests a feeling of happiness and harmony, and the food is delicious!
…On Passion and the Uniting Hands Foundation…
Food and people – this is my life. It is my passion to work with people, helping those who need it and making people happy. So, I founded the Uniting Hands Foundation not-for-profit organisation in 2010. There are so many children in Nepal that don’t have a school. They have to travel so far, sometimes 2 hours a day to have an education. At the schools, there is very little equipment or facilities for the children. My foundation helps these little Nepali to have better schools. Hopefully then one day they can follow their dreams, like I am now able to.