Executive Sous Chef, Yazad Gandhi

At Park Hyatt Melbourne, Yazad ‘Yaz’ Gandhi combines simple flavours and fresh ingredients with his innate culinary creativity results in a new take on the hotel’s banquet offering. Passionate about serving food that treats the soul, Yaz thrives on the excitement, pace and sheer variety of special menus that are created in the kitchen.

Executive Sous Chef, Yazad Gandhi | Park Hyatt Melbourne

Why is the right menu selection for a wedding important?

It’s one of the most important days in a couple’s life and only comes around once. The wedding and everything about it is a reflection of the bride and groom as a couple, so it’s important the wedding menu reflects that. It has to be well thought out, with the right balance of flavors and beautiful presentation, while reflecting their cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs.

What is the most important dish of the day?                         

For me, there is not a ‘most important dish’. Rather every dish needs to be perfect from the time guests arrive to the time they leave. We want to make sure they are spell bound every step of the way. For me, it’s all about the personal touches rather than a hero dish. Our philosophy is simple foods needs to be ‘thoughtfully sourced and carefully served.’ The best dishes are those that are tailor-made to please every guest.

What is your favourite part about cooking for weddings?

The best part has to be living up to and exceeding the expectations of the couple. It’s certainly challenging, but nothing is impossible. The most unique meal I’ve had to prepare was a whole roasted baby goat. I took up the challenge and made the couple very, very happy. It worked out so well that we actually tried it out again at another event at Park Hyatt Melbourne. I have also been asked to cook a Tongan themed menu in the past. I had to hire the services of a Tongan chef to assist us with this special cuisine, it was a challenge!

What styles of dining and current trends do you like to see at weddings?

Dessert stations are always a popular choice, but for a wedding I think entrée and main is best served at the table. Your wedding is definitely about personal touch and service which is translated through attentive wait staff. When served on individual plates, food can also be beautifully presented and allows for a more detailed dish. I notice a lot of second and third generation migrants want their menu to reflect their cultural background and ethnicity. At Park Hyatt Melbourne we are more than willing to explore those areas and have done so successfully on many occasions. We already have in place an Indian and Asian inspired wedding menu, as well as our normal wedding packages. I guess that’s what makes us a unique preference for couples.

What type of food did you have on your wedding day?

On my wedding day we had a traditional Indian sit down dinner, served on banana leaves. My favourite dish was barramundi with coconut and lime chutney wrapped in banana leaves; it was done beautifully with a hint of spice, a dash of lemon and lots of soul in it. I was so happy that I asked the waiter to get me another one.