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Meet Dev Kumar
Dev Kumar

Dev Kumar

Through his travels and working with many different chefs over the years, Dev has learnt the importance of teamwork. His first Chef and, the most memorable, had a profound impact on him, taking the time to teach him the importance of teamwork, whilst teaching him his craft. He still uses these learnings today.

“I have been very fortunate to work alongside some wonderful chefs and I have picked up many tricks of the trade along the way. One of my favourites has been how to prepare a tandoor oven correctly, definitely a skill only a master can teach you.”

Dev’s love of spices shines through at the Air New Zealand lounge where he serves up delicious international delights for travellers in Sydney.

Hailing from Nepal, Dev gained his love of hot and spicy cuisine visiting local eateries serving up southern Indian and Indian cuisines. Turning into a weekly ritual with his school friends and family it made Dev curious about replicating these dishes. He knew he had to learn the basics and the perfect place to start was his mum’s kitchen. It was here Dev honed his skills in flavour creation, prepping for his family’s daily meals.

His love of food was born and so his culinary journey began. He started his Chef’s apprenticeship at 21 at a five-star hotel in Nepal. A year on and a job offer later, he set out for the UAE where he learned the complexity of outdoor cooking not only at resort events but catering for groups on desert safaris, which is a cooking experience he will never forget.

His next opportunity saw him travel to Kuwait, then to Qatar and then back to Nepal for a brief period. With a love of travel firmly ingrained and inspired by the cultures he had previously experienced he set off on his next adventure with a group of friends and fellow chefs to Australia, ending up where all avid travellers love to be – the airport!

Sharing the flavours of home and bringing them to a different audience is important to Dev. He tells us that his childhood memory of tea and snacks led him to enter the Dilma High Tea competition. Awarded a bronze medal for his Nepalese inspired dishes, the menu included a paneer sandwich flavoured with masala chai, Green tea infused lobster remoulade, Jasmine tea cured salmon and Rose tea flavoured poached milk dumplings with pistachio dust.

His recent flavour share at the Air New Zealand lounge has been the Nepalese bara which now features on the breakfast menu. Proving to be a big hit with travellers the ‘bara’ is a traditional savoury pancake from the Newar community in Kathmandu.

“It’s Australia’s multi-cultural food scene that inspires me the most and gives me the passion to continue to create, experiment and bring flavours from around the world together.”

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