Biryani That’ll Make Your Heart Melt: 5-Star Chef Sells Street Food After Losing Job During Pandemic


Biryani That’ll Make Your Heart Melt: 5-Star Chef Sells Street Food After Losing Job During Pandemic

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

The coronavirus pandemic has rendered millions jobless. And in this time of crisis, some have fought hard. Mumbai’s Akshay Parkar, once a five-star international cruise chef,  has now opened a biryani stall in Dadar to earn a living.

According to The Better India, Parkar worked with the Taj Group of Hotels and international cruises. The pandemic has hit the hospitality sector severely, resulting in job losses. Covid-19 left Akshay unemployed as well, and he had no option but to eventually open a food stall to make ends meet. The stall is called “Parkar Biryani House” and is located opposite Star Mall in JK Sawant Marg, Raut Wadi.

Parkar was under financial stress even before the pandemic. A major chunk of his earnings would go into taking care of his parents. His mother has undergone two operations for her elbow and knee injury. His father, who also lost his job during the pandemic, has been recovering from tuberculosis for years.

“I thought that after years of struggle I would be able to save more after the treatments but was left with just ₹20,000 in my savings when I returned home this year,” Parkar told The Better India. “With very little money during the lockdown, meeting daily expenses became difficult. I realised that I had to do something quickly to sustain my family and so I decided to use my cooking skills,” he added.

Parkar kick-started his biryani business after a vada pav vendor was willing to give up his space. He started out by selling five kilos of biryani every day, and now sells around seven.

There are vegetarian options apart from chicken and mutton ones, as he caters to a diverse base of customers. The tricks he learnt being an international chef are now being put to use to serve everyday Mumbaikars.

Social media cheered the grit and determination of the 29-year-old.

Akshay accepts orders on 0986936145.

It is not often that one gets to eat food from a five-star-chef at street-food prices.