In Conversation With Michelin-Star Chef David Myers

Popular as Gypsy Chef, Myers' diverse food and travel experiences add flavour to his culinary skills
Chef David Myers at ADRIFT Kaya, New Delhi
Chef David Myers at ADRIFT Kaya, New DelhiHimakshi Panwar

With a culinary career that spans continents and a relentless appetite for food and travel, David Myers is a globally recognized chef, restaurateur and TV personality. Operating a chain of restaurants and cafes in food hotspots globally, Myers explores local flavours and ingredients he discovers during his extensive travels, creating captivating culinary concepts.

Among all the food destinations the Michelin-starred chef has been to, Tokyo is his "home away from home," where he opened a restaurant in 2010. To bring the essence of Tokyo to India, Myers inaugurated ADRIFT Kaya here last year. Located at JW Mariott Aerocity in New Delhi, the restaurant's specially curated menu is a modern spin on "Izakaya" (Japanese bar culture).

As the restaurant marks its first anniversary, Outlook Traveller spoke to the celebrity chef about its journey and the impact of travel and food experiences on his culinary experiments.

ADRIFT Kaya, New Delhi
ADRIFT Kaya, New DelhiHimakshi Panwar

As ADRIFT Kaya completes a year in India tell us about the restaurant's journey.

It has been such an amazing ride. I am glad that we opened our Japanese concept here because the response of the Indian customers to our style of Japanese cuisine has been thrilling.

How have your travels in Japan influenced your sensibilities as a chef?

Tokyo is my second home. The cuisine, attention to detail, and cocktail bars make it hard to leave the city. I was impressed by how Japanese chefs use the best ingredients to make food that is simple yet sophisticated. 

ADRIFT Kaya is inspired by the Japanese “Izakaya” dining culture. How have Indian customers taken to the concept and the menu?

Izakaya is a kind of informal bar where small dishes are served, and the concept resonates well with the Indian market. People here are well-travelled and have a sophisticated palate. They love the food, the vibe, and the style of eating and drinking at ADRIFT. It works perfectly with them.

Given your diverse food and travel experiences, you have been nicknamed “Gypsy Chef.” Do you think that food and culture help bridge gaps and unite communities? 

What I love so much about cooking and travelling as a chef is that you can be on opposite ends of an opinion, but when you cook a meal and break bread, you are all coming together as friends. We are all humans, after all. We are all looking for friendships. So I am thrilled to be doing what I do as a chef because I get to see how it brings people together and makes them happy. And it doesn't matter, if you are at odds with each other, you can always smile together over a good drink and a great meal.

How familiar are you with the Indian culinary scene, and what's your favourite Indian dish?

Indian cuisine is one of the best in the world. Every time I come here; I can never get enough of it and I will only eat Indian food. I look forward to exploring more over the years. my favourite Indian dish is Chicken Tikka. I love anything that is grilled in a tandoor.

You can watch the interview and learn a few recipes as he demonstrates his culinary skills on our YouTube channel and Instagram handle.

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