TRULY DEVYANSHU at JAMIE'S PIZZERIA: Khatibah Rehmat
One day I was watching an international food and travel television channel, meanwhile, the commercials started. There I saw that, the international celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is opening his first pizza outlet here, in India. It's name was PIZZERIA and was supposed to be open at Ambience Mall - Gurgaon.
The story actually began like this, I remembered just the name of the restaurant and went there to take the story almost after EIGHT MONTHS, as it was opened on the Fourteenth day of October, 2015. The only thing I did then, was that, I simply jotted down it's name and a rough address in my diary.
I managed the time from my schedule and reached Gurgaon, unexpectedly. As I entered PIZZERIA and showed my PRESS card to one of the staffs there, that I have come here to cover a story upon your restaurant. Before I could even finish, he immediately called his manager 'Devyanshu' and presented him to me.
Devyanshu - The manager, not just greeted me but also honored me as well. He offered me a seat to sit and relax. In the meantime, one of the serving staffs came up with a glass of water in a pretty huge transparent tumbler. I briefed the manager that, I have to ask him about this place, it's chains all over the world, history, books written by Jamie Oliver, etc... etc...!!!
What I noticed there, that the entire interior was very simple and elegant and had a true essence of the West. The menu was written on a black board with colourful chalks and of course with beautiful hand writing. Devyanshu told me that their lady trainer Lucy wrote the entire menu, who came from London to teach them how to handle the living area, where the customers sit.
He further added that their another trainer John, gave them the training of handling the entire kitchen area, from baking the pizzas to serving them and also how to handle the ovens and the other utensils. He added that the restaurant was divided into two parts, one Kitchen and the second Customers or the Guests' area.
Well, then I stood up along with Devyanshu and he started showing me the entire restaurant, including their kitchen area as well as the living area. There I noticed a wall drawing in the inner cabinet area of the restaurant, in which some map type stuff was drawn with colourful chalks. I obviously asked him about it. Then he told me that, this drawing is at every chain of Jamie's PIZZERIA, which represents Jamie's Pizzeria round the globe. That was actually an art (I felt).
Let's now speak about the backbone of the restaurant, their Pizzas. They had umpteenth numbers of pizzas. They even serve pork, having a separate platform and utensils for the process. They have a small and separate beer bar as well. Though I told him not to place a beer bottle on all the tables, as their bar was already visible for their guest counts. Normally, families avoid coming to an open bar restaurant. Moreover, they were publicizing beer more than that of their pizzas.
He agreed with me and asked me that he will speak to his seniors and will get the things done in an assembled way, as other restaurants normally run. I then asked him whether they sell beef pizzas or not? He said no to it, as per expected. I was quizzed that how come a restaurant is selling pork and not beef? Instead of giving me a valid answer, he told me that up to 40% of his customers are foreigners so they demand for pork, I cross questioned him that normally they eat beef more. He was unanswered then. He would have simply said that they are not permitted according to new Indian policies (I laughed and changed the topic).
Well, Devyanshu told me about their other chains in Ambience Mall - Vasant Kunj - New Delhi, which was opened on the 1st. day of April, 2016 and also another one in Mumbai on the 27th. day of July, 2016. He even asked my views, that what else can they do for pizzeria? I told him that India is a place where we find several cultures, castes, creeds, religions, etc...etc... in that case if you can avoid advertising beer bottles on the tables and put an open board outside their kitchen area that pork which they serve over here is prepared in a separate platform, then they will surely respect their way and instead of passing through just like that, they will come inside and have a great time together with Jamie's pizzas. He listened to me and actually loved my idea (as per he told me).
He even showed me several books written by Jamie Oliver, where he has written all his secret recipes. The books were really outstanding, one must buy them and shall follow his recipes. Then after I stood up, compiled the entire conversation and Devyanshu and few of the staffs greeted me till the gate and I came back.
Interview taken by: Khatibah Rehmat
Interviewed: Devyanshu Malik
Picture Courtesy: Team Jamie's Pizzeria by Jamie Oliver