Chef Rishi Naleendra talks about starting his own restaurant and building a team around him who shares the same culture of excellence. We chat about his creative process, as well as how one should simply enjoy any meal, be it fine dining or plain burger.
Chef RIshi’s impressive culinary career includes stints as Chef de Partie at the world-renowned Tetsuya’s in Sydney, where he developed a fastidious attention to detail, and Pastry Chef at the award-winning Yellow by Brent Savage, whom Chef Rishi values as a mentor whose guidance was instrumental in helping him hone his skills.
Chef Rishi’s first restaurant, Cheek by Jowl, was awarded a Michelin star in 2018. He closed it in February 2019 to make way for Cheek Bistro, which now takes up the same space and offers modern Australian fare that marries the fresh, eclectic flavours of the land Down Under with the comforting, hearty notes of bistro cooking. Parallel to the operation of Cheek Bistro, Chef Rishi has since opened a new restaurant, Cloudstreet. Founded in partnership with Gareth Burnett, this establishment showcases the innovation of his kitchen and has received numerous accolades. The menu marries disparate cultures and influences in an exuberant expression while championing ingredient-driven cuisine and seasonality.
In April of this year, Chef Rishi is set to open Kotuwa, a traditional Sri Lankan restaurant in Singapore.
3 things I learned