Gold winner of Best Chef in Indian Cuisine, Dublin – Irish Curry Awards 2017 & 2018
For Santosh, becoming a chef was a dream of his from a very young age: “I always wanted to be a chef. As a teenager, I remember watching TV cooking shows in India and experimenting in the kitchen. I grew up travelling and living in different regions of vast India. There was always an abundance of fresh ingredients from the local fields around me that inspired me a lot.”
Setting up 3 Leaves in Blackrock came from Santosh’s desire to work as a chef and prepare dishes which highlighted India’s vast and diverse cuisine: It’s no surprise at all that Santosh can’t live without spices: “My vision is to offer my customers a pure taste of India, a symphony of taste for them to experience the depth and flavour of the spices. I believe the soul of any Indian dish is the freshly ground spices, therefore every morning I prepare these spices myself. Each curry I make in 3 Leaves has its own blend of spices, which in turn, gives them a unique character.”
The “freedom to be creative with my menu” is Santosh’s favourite part of his job. When he started 3 Leaves, he wanted to “change the perception of Indian cuisine as a hot and sweating meal” and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.