By Allison Hata
Not one to boast about his cooking, chef Imran Ali lets the full-bodied flavors of his dishes speak for themselves. Without any formal culinary training, the executive chef at Tamarind of London learned from “amazing” British chefs he worked under, which he says motivated him to follow his passion.
Today, he describes his cooking style as simple: “Authentic street faire, yet in a contemporary way,” the chef explains. Ali’s technique and approach to food is reflected in the dishes at Tamarind; he bring the fresh, home-cooked appeal of street food and adds rich texture, top-quality ingredients and an elegant presentation for restaurant patrons.
For the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting Pavilion on Saturday, Oct. 3, Ali is planning to present street-style Indian (subcontinent) cuisine from Tamarind. But until then, read on to get to know the man behind the food.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH IMRAN ALI
What is your comfort food?
What’s the first dish you remember cooking?
I will always remember making my first naan bread and putting my hand in the 1,000-degree Tandoori oven.
Three most important cooking tools?
A fry pan, a good knife and a sturdy spatula
Who or what influenced you to begin cooking?
The necessity to fill my desire for the art of cooking
Favorite restaurant in Newport? (Other than your own!)
7862 E. Coast Hwy.
NEWPORT BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
Newport Beach Magazine is a sponsor of the 2015 Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival.