Head Chef Khadak Singh interprets Indian cuisine in a modern refined way, intricately prepared and designed to capture some delicious and exciting flavours. Khadak’s main focus lies with supporting local suppliers and sourcing seasonal ingredients from selected farmers in the region.
Khadak and all the staff at Cardamom Club believe that free range organic produce is not just better because of its purity and freedom from additives but because it tastes so much better. Khadak’s philosophy is to create fresh, beautifully cooked healthy food.
The catalyst for Khadak’s passion for fresh and pure foods came at the age of 15, where he began his training as a kitchen porter and general assistant in the Ludhiana Hotel Resort in the Punjab. Over a period of seven years he worked his way up the ladder to become Head Chef.
Similar positions in other hotels and restaurants in the Punjab followed until he arrived in the UK in 2003 to be head chef at the new Indian restaurant he helped launch in Gravesend, Kent. It was at this stage where Khadak gained his inspiration for utilising fresh, local and seasonal produce whilst adapting traditional cooking techniques and equipment to produce tantalising dishes.
Later, Khadak came across a similar post at The Gurkha Bar and Restaurant in Wareham, Dorset, followed by four years as head chef at The Punjab Restaurant, acclaimed for its north Indian cuisine, in London’s Covent Garden.
Last year he moved to Derby’s newly opened Cardamom Club restaurant to head up a team of five in the kitchen. His passionate devotion to creating the finest Indian traditional and modern fare in increasingly winning praise from diners. To confirm the restaurant’s culinary status, it was highly commended in the 2014 Tiffin Cup, an annual Festival of Curry at the House of Commons.
Highly popular with diners at The Cardamom Club are Khadak’s signature dishes which include Punjabi Murgh Masala, a northern Indian dish of home-style cooked free range chicken simmered with fresh spices, green chillies, onion, tomatoes and fresh snipped coriander.
Another winner is Lamb Shank Nihari, which Khadak prepares with a twist. For several hours he slow cooks Derbyshire lamb in a delicious onion and tomato sauce until it just falls off the bone, accompanying it with masala spinach and potato cakes and mint raitha.