Michael Swamy

Food for me is comfort, with a touch of class and experiment. My culinary philosophy has always been simple: Food should bring back memories of the past, regardless of whether that food is at a community table or futuristically presented in a fine dining space. I don’t want people to just say “Wow” when I cook. I want them to be taken to a nostalgic place of comfort and experience a spark.

Coming from a family of filmmakers, it became clear early on that films were a great tool to document something for posterity. It was when pursuing a Master’s in French Cuisine and Patisserie that culinary storytelling became a pivotal point. While I began to look at my community’s food in Mumbai, India, I felt a strong desire to showcase Indian cuisine globally. I created Indian dishes using French culinary techniques, focusing on flavor, style, and presentation.

After taking a course on natural cooking, I fused my love for wildlife with food. I realized that life and food were more about simplicity and emotions and that the journey was about giving people good, honest food. I started talking about the connection of nature to food by training staff, curating menus, and setting up restaurants, pop-ups, and cafes in wildlife resorts and lodges in the jungles of India . Cooking wild is a concept I developed wherein we do high-end events with clients in various resorts and amongst nature.

“The Chef With Many Hats,” my grandmother would say if you can read, you can cook. One can walk away from the journey but not from the many lessons, good or bad, that you are taught in a kitchen. It’s been 30 years in the industry. Wherever I have traveled and found food, I have always found my kitchen.

Many changes are happening in our industry. However, the lower-rung staff that don’t have a chance to go to college is a necessary change in India.

What is your favorite street food?

Momos | tandoori chicken with roomali roti

Which restaurant or food stand do you recommend? (Different from yours) (Add its Instagram handle if possible)

Soam @soam.babulnath

What is your guilty pleasure?


What ingredient do you find overrated?

Paneer (Cottagecheese0

What ingredient do you think is underrated?


What is your favorite kitchen tool?

Paring knife

What is your worst kitchen nightmare?

Understocked kitchen and a full house

Is there someone you would like to nominate for an interview? (Add Instagram handle)


Spotted 👀by @alandmello