Wednesday 21 August 2019

My Cultural Life: Sunil Ghai, award-winning chef

Sunil Ghai
Sunil Ghai
Helen Mirren
Taj Mahal
Chef's Table

Sunil Ghai is the founder and owner of Pickle restaurant in Camden Street. A multi-award-winning chef, he grew up in Northern India, and his mother's home cooking was a big influence. He worked at the five-star Oberoi hotel group, where he met his wife Leena. They opened the now award-winning Tiffin Indian Delicatessen and Take Out in Greystones, which Leena manages. They have one son, Isham.

Cultural identity is important to Sunil who wants to bring an authentic north Indian dining experience to guests at Pickle restaurant.

Movie: The Hundred-Foot Journey

Helen Mirren

I have a couple of favourites, one being The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring the brilliant Helen Mirren (above). It follows the journey of a family forced to leave India who end up running a hugely successful restaurant in France, across the street from a Michelin-starred establishment.

Play: Cricket Fever

When I was in school, I took part in everything to do with the arts, theatre, painting, dancing, I did it all. My favourite play was a popular play called Cricket Fever which I did when I was in the equivalent of Junior Cert year. Then in 1997, when I was working in the five-star Oberoi Cecil Shimla hotel, the departments put on the Cricket Fever play and I won best actor!

Design: Taj Mahal

I did my first training in Agra where the Taj Mahal (right) is located and every afternoon on my break I would go to the Taj Mahal, find a seat and relax and watch the natural art being made as the sky and people interacted with architecture.

Book: Larousse Gastronomique

Every chef has a copy of the Larousse Gastronomique, the culinary bible I go back to time and time again. I dip into cookbooks from other chefs and restaurants, I like Darina Allen's cookbooks and recently bought The French Laundry cookbook.

TV: Chef's Table

Chef's Table

On Netflix I find Chef's Table fascinating; everyone from Francis Mallmann to Christina Tosi, it's a super show. I was thrilled when Brian McGinn, the executive producer and director of the show, came to Ballymaloe Litfest and while in Ireland came to dine in Pickle - twice!

Sunil Ghai will be taking part at Taste of Dublin 2019 which returns to the Iveagh Gardens from June 13-16, celebrating the revolution of the modern Irish menu. Tickets from €15 (excluding booking fee) are on sale now. For more information or tickets go to

Sunil Ghai, award-winning chef

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