In conversation with Mr. Clement Gomes of Stella Food Corner : A story of a self-made-Chef

Open Face Burger

Open face Burgers

Chicken Lasagna, One-bite-burgers, Russian salad

Chicken Lasagna, One-bite-burgers, Russian Salad.

In the busy lanes of Kalina, Santa Cruz, lies a food corner “Stella’s”, which, one cannot overlook while passing-by. The mouth-searing taste and the aroma of those delicacies just drags you to their shop & also their kindness and hospitality is one of the main reasons why people are brought there….

Bernard, the guy who started this business with his wonderful brother Mr.Gomes (Gomes dada) as we lovingly call him, opens the shop by 17:00hrs and one can see the queue outside the shop, even before the shutters are up!!!….

I became a frequent visitor to the shop since last 7 months now, and have always been treated with the same kindness everyday. Since its just a stone-throw away from my place, practically, I’m there every evening to munch something… Something from his vast variety of cuisines kept out on the display for the people to choose… 🙂

Yesterday, I sat inside and as I was accommodating myself… and started nibbling, Gomes dada came and joined me… I was quite surprised to see him sparing sometime from his customers and joining me.

I seriously learnt a lot from him yesterday. He is a man full of convictions. He told me how he began working at the tender age of 7 in a small cafeteria in West Bengal and his major job being  “Dish washing” . It was surreal and I was taken aback and started thinking how could a dish-washer be so good at what he is doing now…

He went to an extend and told me that he never learned anything from anyone, in particular related to cooking. He had a love for food & the art of cooking, however due to poverty his parents couldn’t afford him a proper/formal training let alone the school.

However, he never gave up on his passion. He was always eager to learn something new and try his hands-on everything… but to his dismay, no-one was co-operative. They mocked him instead. He recalls, as a teenager, once he was in the kitchen of the cafeteria and saw the chef prepare a dish & he asked the chef, whether it was possible for him to teach him how to make it… He chef got disappointed and said no I cannot teach you because you are a dish-washer and you’re miles away from cooking….

That evening, he decided he will move on and later started hard-working and self-tutoring. In his life he learnt a lot, lost a lot & gave a lot to many/from many.

A few years later, an opportunity knocked his doors; he applied for a job of Kitchen incharge for a British restaurant in Singapore, and was accepted to come and work.

There he met Chef David-Ying who became his mentor and he was kind enough to help him giving some in-dept information on cooking…

Today, this man writes his own menu everyday. You’ll never get to see what you ate yesterday. There is no repetition in the recipes. He changes everything everyday. He has something called a ‘Pan-roll’, he has his own style of making pan-roll; atleast a 120 styles of fillings and making…

I learnt, never judge anyone… You never know, who can become what…

Of course in the darkness of the dark coal mines we find the bright shining diamonds…

Always give it to people, even from the little you have… It will make a difference…

From the conversation of food… I went on to learn a lesson for my life 🙂 !!!

I’ll stop now…

PS: Please avoid any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in the post, as I was in a hurry while I was writing and I had to write it down, before I could forget… I’ll edit it in due course… If you want me to rectify any …please feel free to comment.
Love Alan