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The Culinary Wizard Rahul Gomes Pereira AKA Chef Picu, 31, Chef Partner, Passcode Hospitality

By Punita Sabharwal

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Chef Picu

Chef Rahul Gomes grew up in Goa, a tourist state. Owing to this, food and beverages were very close to his daily life. His career choice summed up around something related to F&B, travel, and hospitality. Soon he moved to Bombay to study at the Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Mumbai. "I think by the second year there, I had decided very clearly that I really enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. There was a big food revolution happening across the world around that time. New techniques were being discovered in a restaurant that had suddenly started exploding outside of hotels. And, the kitchen was something that really called me," shares Chef Picu. By the time he passed out of college, he applied to the Oberoi group, for a program they had at the Oberoi Center of Learning and Development, which is a management training program. After spending two years there, he then worked with the Oberoi group for another three years. And then it was around 2016 when he decided to leave the hotel industry and actually foray into the standalone restaurant space. Currently, he's equity partners with Rakshay Dhariwal, Radhika Dhariwal, and Ishan Kashyap at Passcode Hospitality. Handling the food component as his core competency, Jamun became his passion project. After Delhi and Goa, he's now looking at expanding the brand in Pune and Hyderabad.

Talking about running a food business, the Chef mentions, "In no way it is an easy business, especially post-COVID. However, post-COVID there has been a great bounce back in the industry. And the steady demand helps to sustain it."

The chef spends a lot of time with his team. When asked about spending his time cooking and managing, he says, "I think I spend a good amount of time in the kitchen. It's a space where I'm most productive. But whichever, part of the environment, whichever city I'm in a place where we have a restaurant, I'm in the kitchen." It helps him not only operationally operate but also understand what's happening at the restaurants.

As per him, the biggest success point in the restaurant business is to keep consistent at being fabulous every day. That's where he believes a chef actually spends time with the team evolving products, training, and making sure you're consistently reiterating the team in believing it.

As per him, "It's very integral to understand that sometimes you can't be good at everything. And you got to know what you're good at. So till today, I avoid getting into the business side of things, and I'm involved in everything else. Again, it comes back to realizing that being consistent is better than being a one-time wonder."

Factsheet:

No. of Co-founders: 4

No. of Employees: 550

Turnover: INR 90 Cr

Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur Staff

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur India

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