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Popular Chef Cyrus Todiwala Shares Valuable Life Advice

The head chef at The River Restaurant, he is also the chef-proprietor of Cafe Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, UK

  • Being a chef has taught me that we work and exist with and within the most perishable two commodities – manpower and customer. Both are highly perishable and to tend and care for them and not take either for granted, leads to success.
  • If I sit to count the number of failures I have had in life and their immediate effect on me or my family, I may retreat into a world of doom and gloom mentally. Failure is at my doorstep daily. I kick myself to move on and very often do not learn, so I get kicked again and move on. But it has to be looked at as a means of giving strength and conviction to battle on to succeed. In short, I try to control my emotions in failure and erase it from my mind, so that it does not affect me.
  • I wouldn’t turn back time or change anything about my life. It has been good – full of lovely and scary memories, memorable enough to make me laugh and cry, and to get seriously angry with myself many a time.
  • I always looked up to Chef Anton Mosimann in my career as a chef. But in life, one has many or several role models, and one feels that they should be like him or her, or emulate certain elements of their nature or character.
  • If I weren’t a chef, perhaps I could have fulfilled my father’s dream of opening an honest, highly personalised and best practice service garage; or I could have been an agriculturist and gone into conservation.

  • The two biggest decisions in my life have been marrying my wife, Pervin, and deserting my parents in their old age home to come to Britain. The former doesn’t’ seem so big, because you love the woman you marry, but the latter is still very hurtful and the guilt continues to kill a little of me internally every day of my life.
  • My marriage was a defining moment in my life, because it changed me instantly from a carefree, intuitive, happy-go-lucky person and gave me a responsibility that I was not prepared to handle at the time. That defined the boy that became a man, and the struggle began. Then came our first son, and the definition changed from husband to husband and father – it’s hard to explain how scary that was.
  • I must confess that I do think about death. I feel that I have a race to fulfill and that I won’t have the opportunity to do many things that I might like to. I also wonder about my legacy, and what it might be like for my family and the people who know me.
  • In my free time, I like to travel to new destinations, work with and enjoy nature so I can get my mind off work.
  • I would advise the younger generation to be bold and creative, and to seek and overcome. Be kind and thoughtful, try to look at the world from the eyes of those that you interact with too, respect everyone and everything, and above all, respect the world around you. Blame yourself and not others for your actions. Be hungry for knowledge and learning.
  • I am more spiritual than religious, but I do believe in God.
  • I don’t have a retirement date in mind, because I simply cannot deal with the thought.