Home Lifestyle Food & Beverages Brexit has put Chef Alfred Prasad’s dream on hold

Brexit has put Chef Alfred Prasad’s dream on hold

4 min read

Forty five-year-old Alfred Prasad, under whose guidance the London-based Indian restaurant Tamarind received a Michelin star for 13 consecutive years, is not happy with Brexit.

In 2015, Prasad, who grew up in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, quit Tamarind to set up his own restaurant in London. “I had crossed 40 and I was, like, I don’t want to be an employee chef for much longer than this. I need to go out, spread my wings, do my own thing.”

But London has put no wind beneath his entrepreneurial wings. Prasad’s plans have been stalled, thanks to Britain’s decision to exit the European Union. As a chef entrepreneur Prasad now has to worry about getting the economics right.

“While over the last 10 years it was already hard for Indian chefs to move to the UK, now even hard-working Italians, Greeks and Romanians will not be allowed. So who is going to run our restaurants and hotels? The British don’t work, they don’t have the stamina for the service industry,” says the chef, who currently spends time between India and the UK as a consultant.

He says that the UK-EU divorce makes it more expensive for him to get started. “Everyone is competing for the limited skills available. To retain my employees I’ll now have to pay higher than average.” Challenging times, we agree.

The positive fallout is that Delhi-ites are enjoying his expertise. While he looks for the right place and the right staff in London, he has started Omya, at The Oberoi. Prasad is perfectly happy to have come full circle and got a chance to showcase his global expertise in the national capital. “I see this as a perfect homecoming,” he says. The universe always has its own plan.

Prasad anyway considers himself an accidental chef. Growing up with an Anglo-Indian mother and a Tamil Brahmin father in Vellore, Prasad’s dream was to become an air force pilot. But fate, and his mother, had other plans. Post-school while Prasad sat for the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam, his mother secretly filled up the forms for the Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Chennai. She convinced him to sit for the exam for a lark. When the results for both the exams came, Prasad flunked the NDA entrance but made it to the hotel management institute. He now had to choose between waiting another year to take the NDA entrance or going ahead with hotel management. Thankfully, for hundreds of diners across the world, he chose the latter. https://www.telegraphindia.com/culture/food/brexit-has-put-chef-alfred-prasads-dream-on-hold/cid/1672660?ref=features_home-template

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