TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’: Master Chef Deepa Suhas Awchat, award-winning chef & Restaurateur

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We truly believe that TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Master Chef Deepa Suhas Awchat is, undoubtedly, one of the best chefs and restaurateurs in India and perhaps globally too. Her food is mouth-wateringly delicious and her iconic fine dining restaurants Goa Portuguesa, Dakshin Culture Curry and Diva Maharashtracha all showcase her super flavourful menus, authentic dishes and standardised wonderful culinary recipes.

The restaurants are family run by Master Chef Deepa, her affable and charming multi-tasking husband Dr Suhas Awchat and her extremely talented sons Sudeep and Acash who are currently taking the legacy forward.

Besides her finger-licking authentic amazing food that she and her talented band of chefs conjure up in her magical kitchens, Master Chef Deepa is a wonderful hostess and makes sure that all her guests get the best of her culinary delights. Incidentally, she’s authored Goa Portuguesa Cookbook and Paperback cookbook The Authentic Goa Cookbook by Times Lifestyle.

…And for people who crave to get that unique Master Chef Deepa flavor, no worries, Deepa has also put together her unique blend of authentic Gourmet spices under the brand name “Goa Portuguesa Spice Mixes”.

So put your hands together for TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Master Chef Deepa Suhas Awchat whose passion to innovate, learn and experiment remains the same throughout the decades. Ask her what her success secret is and the super humble Master Chef Deepa avers, “The learning process is always in progress; it’s a journey and never a destination; it never ends.”

Deepa Suhas Awchat

Deepa Suhas Awchat

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about your life-changing journey that has moulded you to be what you are today?
Born and brought up in Goa, I come from a family of sportsmen. All my brothers were state-level football and table tennis players. I was fortunate enough to be trained by my brother who was the NIS coach. I played in the Nationals representing Goa and Mumbai, and also won many medals for the Revenue Board after joining Customs and the Central Excise Department.

I received certificates of commendation from the Ministry of Finance for my distinguished service in the Customs department. Then I gave up my Customs and Central Excise career to follow my passion for food and joined my husband Dr. Suhas Awchat in the hospitality business.

Could you list 3 of your major achievements?
My major achievements in table tennis are receiving the highest Goa Government award “Jivbadada Kerkar Award” for Excellence in Sports. I received a certificate of commendation from the Ministry of Finance for my distinguished service in the Customs department.

I have also received many awards and accolades for our three Globally Awarded Restaurants – Goa Portuguesa, Dakshin Culture Curry & Diva Maharashtracha. Incidentally, I was also bestowed with the ‘Global Gourmand Award’ for my ‘Goa Portuguesa Cookbook’. It was also an honor to receive the ‘25 India’s Biggest Chefs Award’ by the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations, besides many other awards.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these challenges? And what lesson have you learned from them?
My Customs job was very challenging as I used to be part of the men’s team to raid ships and aircrafts, and seize gold and contraband goods whenever I was posted in the Rummaging and Intelligence Department.
When I resigned from the service and joined the hospitality business, I again faced many challenges since I had no professional training as a chef. Initially, the chefs in the restaurant did not welcome me in the kitchen. However, I survived because I was confident and had learned the technique of cooking in my childhood from my mother.

My next challenge was to standardize the recipes. At that time, our kitchen was dependent on chefs who were from Goa, South India and other parts of Maharashtra. They had their individual styles of cooking the same dish. The recipes changed whenever the chefs went on leave or changed. But once I standardized the recipes, things got easier and the food taste remained the same.

Now we have our own spice mixes under the brand name “Goa Portuguesa Spice Mixes”. Easy to use and offering great taste, they are available on Amazon, at airports and at all our franchisee outlets.
The lesson learned from my setbacks is never to be dependent on any individual’s skills, and always have proper SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). I believe that knowledge is power, so empower yourself with knowledge before entering any field.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?
My experience as a sportsperson and in Revenue Service helped me acquire certain qualities for like hard work, dedication, and facing and overcoming difficulties to reach my goal. The learning process is always in progress; it’s a journey and never a destination; it never ends.

Even today, I love to innovate and experiment in the kitchen and keep tabs on the changing food industry. Despite it being over two decades in the hospitality industry for me, I have the same passion for food and more success.

The Awchats

Who are the people who have been the wind beneath your wings?
I draw inspiration from my mother who taught me everything I know about cooking. She had the sheer ability to turn the simplest ingredients into an absolutely delicious dish. My husband Dr. Suhas has the passion and courage to follow his dreams; he never gets scared or bogged down by any obstacles.

His passion and drive inspire me to do better and keep innovating. He is the wind beneath my wings. Our two sons, Sudeep and Acash, always support us and are big assets to our organization. They have helped our business grow and flourish and started franchisees in India and Dubai JLT. They have started another venture “Poie and Pao” this month.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?
“I had and still have dreams and ambitions. This drives my desire to succeed and achieve my goals against all odds.”

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