Our Interview with Arbinder Singh Dugal

Getting excited for our Summer Foodie Weekend Break

As some of you may already know this summer we will be hosting another one of our Foodie Weekends… An unforgettable culinary journey where our renowned guest chef Arbinder Singh Dugal will grace our kitchen with his culinary expertise, promising a weekend filled with delectable delights.

Ahead of this incredible event, we’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Chef Arbinder about his culinary philosophy and what guests can expect from our Summer Foodie Weekend Break.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background in the culinary world and how you got started in cooking?

My culinary journey began at an early age, when I found myself interested in what my mother was cooking in her kitchen. After completing my college education, I dived straight into the world of Indian fine-dining in Mumbai, spending four years refining my skills there.

Seeking new challenges, I shifted my focus to French, British, and Modern European cuisines. This led me to various culinary roles across the UK, including stops in Guernsey and here at the Bedford Hotel in Sidmouth, where I continued to broaden my culinary repertoire.

However, it was my time at Le Pont de la Tour, a renowned French fine restaurant in London, that truly shaped my career. Working there was a pivotal moment, allowing me to further hone my craft and expand my culinary horizons in exciting new directions.

2. What inspired you to pursue a career in cooking, and what keeps you passionate about it?

Cooking has been a personal passion of mine since childhood, and pursuing a career in this field was a natural choice. For me, it’s always been about embracing challenges, constantly learning new techniques, and discovering unique ingredients. This ongoing journey fuels my passion and keeps me deeply engaged in the culinary world.

3. To-date, what has been your biggest achievement in your cooking career?

There are so many, but a few highlights have to be:

  • Roux Scholarship Finalist in 2012 and 2 times semi-finalist 2010-2013.
  • MasterChef the professional semi-finalist 2019 – finishing in the top 4.
  • Part of the England Culinary Team in 2024 for the Culinary World Cup in Stuart Gard, Germany. 
  • Semi-finalist for National Chef of the Year in 2023.

4. What do you enjoy most about collaborating with businesses like the Bedford Hotel for special events?

    The Bedford Hotel holds a significant place in my career journey. I spent two years working for the Pyne family, during which time I developed a deep appreciation for their work ethic and values.

    I am very much looking forward to getting back in their kitchen; it will bring back some old memories!

    5. How do you approach creating a menu for a special event like the Foodie Weekend Break at the Bedford Hotel?

    The idea of creating an Indian street food menu for the Foodie Weekend Break at Bedford Hotel was inspired by my own love for these flavoursome dishes. I wanted to offer something unique and exciting for all the food enthusiasts attending the event, allowing them to indulge in a selection of special dishes that I personally enjoy.

    6. When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    Simple – reading cookery books & playing cricket.

    7. Can you share any behind-the-scenes stories or memorable moments from your time on MasterChef?

    Participating in MasterChef was an incredible, intense and challenging experience; it is one hell of a competition. The pressure was immense, with cameras constantly capturing every move and the adrenaline running high. It felt like a whirlwind of emotions which constantly added to the intensity of the competition.

    So would you like to join us for our Summer Foodie Weekend Break, with Arbinder Singh Dugal, MasterChef: The Professionals semifinalist? We still have a few spaces remaining. For more information on the event and how to book your spot visit our website here.

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