Mandeep Singh was born and raised in Punjab, India. The son of a second-generation farmer, he grew up on a farm and spent his days watching his mom and dad cook while always asking questions: “What are you cooking?” “How are you cooking?” “Can you taste the food while it is being cooked?”
Cooking has always been fascinating to Mandeep since his childhood days when he would stand by his mother as she cooked food for the family every morning. He would often ask about the various ingredients she’d put in the food. Growing up, he discovered more affection towards cooking. Rather than playing with others kids in the neighborhood, he would read articles on cooking and watch food-related TV programs.
It did not take long when his parents realized his drive and passion.
He loved eating fresh homegrown vegetables and farm-grown chicken. At the age of 12, he pretty much learned how to roll Roti, homemade bread usually eaten with each Punjabi meal. After high school, he started college and got a part-time job at an Indian restaurant without asking his parents. Months later, his parents found out and got angry with him because they wanted him to finish college.
During his college days, Mandeep would bunk classes to learn cooking from an open kitchen by the college gate. His mind was always into cooking— reading cooking articles and watching cooking shows on TV. He later told his parents that he didn’t want to go to college anymore and that he wanted to work full-time in an Indian restaurant. His parents weren’t happy, but his father always saw him as a great chef. He told him that if that’s what he wanted, he should go and pursue that dream. Mandeep gave his father a huge hug and thanked him.
Mandeep, with very little hope of his dream coming true in India, decided to try his luck abroad. In 1996, he flew to a friend who owned a restaurant in Helsinki, Finland. This friend offered Mandeep the opportunity to come to Finland and work with him. Immediately, Mandeep came to a realization: “Why should I miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?”
He worked with his friend as a chef’s assistant for about 2 years. Later, his friend offered him the head chef position, making him in charge of the entire kitchen. Being a naturally creative person, he helped make the business a success. He brought new ideas which had a great impact on the business. His loyal patrons always left notes of positive comment for him and would sometimes ask to meet him in the kitchen.
Throughout his journey, Mandeep had been keen to learning new things. Alongside cooking, he would constantly pay attention to how things were managed in and out of the kitchen. His main goal was to be an entrepreneur one day, which eventually led to him owning his own business. He has been running his own business since 2003 with great passion and enthusiasm.