The Four Seasons Resorts Maldives at Kuda Huraa is an award winning luxury property that beckons guests with the welcoming embrace of a lagoon, flower gardens, a private spa island in a charming setting of a Maldivian village.
The luxury resort now welcomes Kishan Singh, a culinary veteran who has been with the Four Seasons since 2016, as the resort’s new Head chef.
Kishan’s father died abruptly when he was 13 years old in Almora, Uttarakhand, India. When his academics permitted, Kishan assisted his elder brother in running the family’s North Indian restaurant in the Almora hills.
He’d “fallen in love with cooking for a living” by the time he finished high school, as well as the flavorful organic foodstuffs of his hill station home.
He obtained a coveted post at The Leela Palace – in one of India’s premier restaurants, Jamavar – not long after completing his three-year hotel management diploma, and his destiny was set.
His career has been on an upward trajectory ever since, as Kishan has showed his skill and creativity at many leading hotels in southern Thailand, under brands such as Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach Phuket, Thailand, Shangri-La hotel Jakarta, Indonesia.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru; Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India; Sofitel Phnom Penh, Cambodia, The Leela Palace, Kempinski, Bangalore, India, ITC hotel Bangalore, India, Le Meridien Hotel New Delhi, India (training).
Coriander is his go-to herb – “without it, you have 50% less flavour” – but it’s his love of food’s natural flavours that drives his unique style.
“At Baraabaru, which was named one of CNN Travel’s top ten “Maldives’ Finest Tables” for 2022, every dish is not only cooked to order for optimum freshness, but it’s also tailored to each guest:
“Dairy- or gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, Jain, individual spice levels – the way we customize dishes to exact tastes and dietary requirements is one of the things that makes Baraabaru so special.” It generates a seemingly infinite number of options.”
Chef Singh’s aim is on preparing fresh, authentic meals – and doing them well – from the kebabs and charcoal tandoors of North India to the curries and spices of the South.
His personal favourite? Makhani Dal. But this is Dal Makhani like you’ve never had it before; it takes 48 hours to create and is a dish he’s been meticulously developing since his days at The Leela, with the help of his first tutor.
He approaches his own staff in the same way: “If my team does well, the restaurant goes well, the guests are satisfied, and I am performing my job properly.”
Chef Singh still considers cooking to be “the purest part of my work,” and it is his favourite activity, especially when accompanied by Baraabaru’s nightly live sitar band. His downtime is set to the same classical soundtrack, but the kitchen is never far from his mind:
“I always like to be a nice human being with a great sense of humour and respect for people, but other than that, it’s all about cooking.”