Namaste! I'm Baloo.
Born and raised in Ambala, a beautiful state of Punjab, Northern India which is rich in history.
I come from a big and very traditional Indian family, which means lots of flavours and even more people!
Our home was always full of the smells of home cooking and my mom was always the Queen and ruler of her kingdom – the kitchen.
As a kid I was always hanging on my mom's sari asking for more delicious curries or sweets. And she was always pretending that she was angry at me saying:
“Baloo you have been stealing food again, go and play and wait till it’s ready!”
Yes, a traditional family means no men allowed in the kitchen! So the women were cooking – my mom, sisters, aunties, cousins etc. Us men just enjoyed the eating.
So how did it all start?
I studied Hotel Management in Delhi, and to be honest, at that time I couldn't cook anything. Mom would not have been impressed!
After graduation I started working in a hotel as a shift manager. After a few months I realised that I didn't like it at all and actually wanted to be a chef.
So I changed my shirt and tie for a chef's apron and started learning.
After a while I managed to land a job working as a chef in one of India's most famous 5 star hotels – The Oberoi in Delhi, where I spent the next few years learning my trade.
Then suddenly I received a life changing proposition from a London based Mogul Restaurant in Greenwich.
So here I am
Living in London for more than 10 years I had the opportunity to work and obtain experience from many places. One of them was Tamarind in Mayfair – one of the first Indian restaurants in the world to receive a Michelin star.
Another famous restaurant I had the pleasure to work in was Sindhu – one of the restaurants established by twice Michelin starred Indian chef and TV celebrity, Atul Kochhar.
So why a vegetarian restaurant called Hullabaloo in Deptford?
My mom used to call me Baloo when I was a kid and later on I took it as my chef nickname. I also wanted to honour my mom and her amazing cooking skills. So Hullabaloo was born.
I have been a vegetarian since birth, so It was only natural that Hullabaloo was to be vegetarian, because that is what I believe in. No meat at all.
I am a local and over the years it has become my second home. So it was an obvious choice – it had to be Deptford!
The idea behind Hullabaloo was to create a place with a truly authentic Indian atmosphere in the heart of the high street. So you can enjoy your meal listening to Indian music, surrounded by Indian film posters and embark on a virtual journey to vibrant Mumbai's Colaba or Delhi's Connaught Place!
We are not another place without soul, where people just pay and eat.
We want you to feel like you are completely at home! My friends are my customers, and my customers become my friends.
Friends of Hullabaloo.
So that is how this chef's story ends, but Hullabaloo's story has just begun!
Hope you are going to enjoy it.