Alan DMello

My connection with food began in my childhood as I grappled with asthma triggered by certain foods. I was an energetic, sports-loving child, but asthma attacks felt like an anchor. I became aware of what I ate wherever I went. As a teenager, I wanted to explore and experience the world. My father’s greatest gift was a love for reading, providing the best library a curious child could have with literature and top magazines like National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, etc. He died when I was 19, but by 16, he paved the way. If I wanted a life on the road, I’d have to pay for myself.

My first kitchen job began with demanding, bottom-of-the-ladder ad I excelled, I took on more responsibilities, propelling my career forward.

I’ve been in the industry since 1994 but temporarily stepped away due to personal reasons. I used to pull 14-18 hour shifts, missing valuable time with my wife. After tough decisions, I chose to prioritize family. With my daughter grown, I’m hoping to return to the kitchen as a stronger leader and chef, showcasing that there is a more humane way to manage a restaurant kitchen.

While working in various kitchens, I came to appreciate the immense effort and importance put in by every single cook, from high-end hotels to small family-owned businesses. This inspired me to advocate for India’s food and beverage industry. Since that day, I was determined to establish @intlchefdayindia (International Chefs Day) as a default celebration in India.