If busy professionals and sports champions take to churning out surprises in the kitchen when locked down, what do chefs do when they get into the same boat? For Anuraj Nair, executive chef, Crowne Plaza Muscat, extra time at home also led him into the kitchen to do some interesting cooking with his children. But, given a chance, he would've rather traded his ladle for the paint brush.
“Ever since being a hotelier it was always a rare opportunity for me to be at home, mostly spending the whole day with family. I kept myself busy with some reading, movies, housekeeping and doing some interesting cooking with kids,” chef Anuraj said, adding, “I always had an enthusiasm and strong interest towards artworks and paintings. Iinitiated myself during this lockdown period to get serious with it and attempted a few paintings in acrylic and oil.”
Since he always worked in the fast-paced hotel industry, it was difficult to keep himself idle at home. However, spending some valuable time with his canvas and paintbrushes, he realised that this activity did really help him to relax and remain calm.
“The pandemic has seriously troubled the whole world, but I feel, one among the worst hit sectors is the hospitality industry. The industry now meets the biggest challenge in adapting to the new ways of life by adopting a safe social distance with guests and practising all the necessary precautions, as guided by the authorities. The business has been seriously affected in the service industry, globally and locally. I hope, it has a speedy recovery, so that we can welcome our guests as soon as possible,” he said.
Chef Anuraj also pointed out that chefs play a key role in kitchens by following all the necessary guidelines for keeping a safe working environment. “Our kitchen in Crowne plaza Muscat is HACCP-certified and always maintained strong hygiene practices even before the pandemic. We follow systematic hand washing, and vegetable and fruit sanitising procedures in all the kitchens. The kitchen team always use masks and gloves, whenever necessary. Systematic monitoring on all food related critical control points are always carefully monitored and logged. Practising safe hygiene measures are mandatory for an efficient kitchen team.”
Acknowledging that the world around has changed, he disclosed that hoteliers are finding new ways to continue to serve the community.
Crowne Plaza Muscat has a long-standing commitment to rigorous cleaning procedures, safety and wellness for its guests.
In collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey – both world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services – InterContinental Hotels Group has launched an IHG Clean Promise to guarantee a safe environment for guests and colleagues, he said, adding that guests can be reassured that their stay will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness.
Reiterating that all prescribed guidelines for cleanliness, hygiene and sanitisation were always being followed in the hotel and will continue so, Chef Anuraj added, “When our guests will be ready to travel again, we’ll be ready to welcome them.”