The Best Address

Executive Chef Apoorva Kunte

Executive Chef Apoorva Kunte is known for his relentless pursuit of culinary excellence and boundless creativity. With a remarkable array of accolades and a trail of culinary triumphs, he has cemented his place as a distinguished figure in the world of gastronomy. Notably, his recent recognition as one of the top 10 Chefs of the Year 2022-23 for Victoria State by Accommodation Australia or being named a Runner-up in the Marriott APEC Cage-Free Eggs Challenge in 2023 where he showcased his commitment to sustainable practices and culinary innovation. His prowess in the culinary arts led to his appointment to the esteemed Marriott APEC Culinary Advisory Board for the year 2022-24, a testament to his remarkable contributions to the field.


Acknowledged by industry experts and peers alike, Chef Apoorva’ s inclusion in the Power 25 Culinary List 2022-23 by Hotelier’s Web underscored his influence and impact on the culinary landscape. His Special Recognition Certificate in the Plant-Based Recipe Battle at Marriott APEC 2022 further highlighted his ingenuity, where he emerged as one of the top six contributors from a pool of 400 entrants. Apoorva’s dedication to sustainability and innovation was exemplified through his Certificate of Achievement for Consistent Waste Tracking for Marriott’s SERVE 360 Program APEC 2022.

His journey has seen him traverse diverse culinary terrains across 3 continents, from collaborating with Michelin-starred chefs to mastering various cuisines. Notably, Chef Apoorva has been an instrumental part of renowned establishments such as The Ritz-Carlton, The Westin, and The Taj Mahal Hotel, where he has consistently elevated culinary standards and garnered awards while managing and cooking for VIP state events hosting prominent figures like the Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi, President George Bush, UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and cultural icons like Lady Gaga, George Clooney and Novak Djokovic.


An educator at heart, Apoorva has played a pivotal role as an Industry Student Assessor for Le Cordon Bleu, Australia, nurturing future culinary talents. His commitment to knowledge and growth led him to complete seven short management certificate courses from Torrens University, Australia, in 2020, enhancing his leadership acumen. As an Executive Chef at The Westin, Melbourne, Australia, Apoorva continues to demonstrate his culinary finesse, leading a dedicated team and crafting exceptional experiences for guests.


 Do you have a favourite time of the year or set of ingredients that you look forward to working with?
I love the winter season and the opportunities the cool weather brings to cook in slow style. I look forward to braising, simmering, and slow cooking my way into plates with different aromatic sauces to showcase a combination of intense layered flavour profiles.


What would you do if you weren’t a chef?
Growing up I never had a plan B and always wanted to be a chef. Food is my biggest passion and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be getting paid for something I love doing. Bringing different elements together on a plate and experimenting with unusual flavour combinations brings me excitement and joy, so based on this if I had to choose a different profession, I think I could enjoy interior design or photography.
 Do your personal preferences influence the menu at all?
I wouldn’t say personal preferences influence my menus, but rather as a true blue foodie my personal experiences and culinary escapades do provide inspiration for my menus.


What do you think is the most over-hyped food trend currently?
In my opinion the most over-hyped food trend is the use of meatless meat or plant based meat. Its overuse on menus around the world is taking away focus from utilizing fresh seasonal local produce as the hero ingredient and almost forcing diners to assume that a vegetarian dish is incomplete without a meat like component .
When are you happiest?
I am happiest when I am challenged to cook something out of nothing.  My wife is a massive Master-chef fan and I often come home to Master-chef style challenges with limited ingredients or time limits, bringing a rush of excitement to our kitchen. Seeing the pure happiness on my family, friends’ and guests’ faces when they devour the food my team and I have cooked, well that happiness is indescribable.


When you’re not in the kitchen where can you be found?
Being outdoors and going for long scenic walks with my wife calms me, soothes my mind and brings a sense of clarity enabling me to think of new ideas and concepts.  Breathing in fresh air acts like a palate cleanser for my mind.
Where is your favourite place to dine?
I grew up in Nagpur, a small city in Central India and this is where my love for food was born and nurtured. The restaurants of Nagpur still offer the same delicious dishes that I would eagerly devour with my mum, dad and sister growing up.  Heading to Lahoree’s on an evening for our favourite butter chicken one night, and then to BBQ for their flavoursome Fish Anarkali and roomali roti on another, the food destinations of Nagpur still hold a special place in my heart.

lobster benedict

What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?
Dosa – I love the textures that the dish brings. From the crispy pancake, creamy potatoes, spiced lentils and my absolute favorite chutney. It combines an exciting variety of textures, aromas and flavours, awakening all my senses. A dosa thali has always brought a smile to my face (and stomach) !
What makes the local food scene so exciting?
The fact that the local food scene is a degustation of centuries old recipes that have been passed down and personalized by those cooking them, their families, personal experiences and cultures.  All of these natural influences, coupled with the local ingredients, bring a genuine warmth and depth to the flavours they are producing.

Beetroot tartare


 Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?
There is a dish on my current menu, the ‘Smoked free-range blackened pork’ which features my signature piquant glaze, a celeriac remoulade, a coconut water dosa and Tamil gunpowder. This is an example of a dish that I am most proud of, because it showcases my love for experimenting with elements from my heritage and foodie memories to bring forward a rare ingredient and flavour combination that many would not think about cooking and serving on one plate. Seeing the hint of amusement and joy on those eating the dish brings me immense happiness and a sense of accomplishment.


You’re having friends over for dinner tonight. What’s on the table?
Chilli paneer, homestyle chicken curry, hot chapatis and chocolate cake. Chiili paneer holds an extremely dear place in my heart. It was the first dish I learnt and cooked when I was back in 8th grade. While I cooked it for myself and my family in the beginning the appreciation and encouragement I received from them prompted me to keep cooking. Slowly it became a staple and signature at all the house parties..I could see happy faces when our family and friends took a bite of it. It is this happiness that I cook for at home and even professionally. For me cooking is not a chore or a job that I do, it is like meditation and takes my mind to a happy place.


Name your favourite city that has it all: food, culture, and nightlife.
My answer for this will be forever changing. I love to travel and explore new places. I tend to spend only half my time in a new city checking out the tourist attractions and spend the other half pretending to be a local resident so I can truly experience the food and culture the city has to offer at its core. From the markets of Bangkok and Sydney, to the pride people bring when showcasing their culinary heritages in Melbourne, to the simplistic hawker style food in Singapore, to the glamorous nightlife of New Delhi, and classic cuisine of Hyderabad as they never seem to lose sight of their roots, every city holds a unique memory for me.  And there are still so many cities to explore, so why limit ourselves with favourites?


 Can you tell us more about the cuisine at your restaurants?
Food forms an integral part of our identity by infusing meaning and purpose into our lives. The food at Allegro is my humble approach in weaving together local sustainable produce with vibrant flavor’s from the subcontinent.  Our plates showcase our deep-rooted passion for intuitive cooking, where we bring together flavour pairings and spice combinations that are rare yet eclectic, drawing inspiration from our childhood, travel adventures and cherished memories to create a memorable dining experience.


K ‘gari Spanner crab, Candied Egg yolk, finger lime , carrot, coriander, youtiao


Serves 2                                                   Prep time : 1 hr ,                                                  Service time : 5 mins

For the spanner crab mix :

  • Cooked spanner crab meat: 150 gms
  • Kewpie mayo: 20 gms
  • Lemon juice: 1 tsp
  • Carrot fine chopped: 2 tbsp
  • Chopped fresh Chives: 1 tsp
  • Chopped fresh Chervil :1 tsp
  • Chopped fresh coriander: 1tsp
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Method :

  1. In a mixing bowl bring together the chopped herbs, carrot, mayonnaise and lemon juice and mix.
  2. Fold in the cooked spanner crab gently and refrigerate. Season only when you are ready to assemble and serve .

Egg yolk jam:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • Sea salt:1 gm

Method: Place the egg yolks, salt in a vacuum bag and vacuum pack .

Pre- heat the water to 64 degrees C and drop in the bag, cook for approx. 30 minutes while maintaining water at 64 degrees C , alternately  if you don’t have a vacuum bag , then make a double boiler and whisk the egg yolk till they reach a temp of 64 degrees , remove ,cool down  and keep in a bowl. You should have thick gel like consistency.

Candied Egg yolk:

  • Salt: 130 gms
  • Sugar: 90 gms
  •  Egg yolk: 1 no


  1. Combine together the salt and sugar in a bowl, spread it out into a small bowl with approx. 5-6 cm depth.
  2. Using the back of a spook make a depression in the center of the bowl leaving some salt and sugar mix at the bottom, spoon the egg yolk into the depression and cover gently  with the salt and sugar. Keep the bowl into the fridge for 48 hrs.
  3. Remove the egg yolk, it would have become hard and dry, dust the excess salt and sugar off . If still a bit wet place in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees C for 1 hr. The egg yolk should be dry enough to be grated.

Other ingredients required for assembly:

  • Youtiao/Chinese Doughnut:4 pcs (easily available at the local Asian store, approx. 12 cm length)
  • Fresh Finger lime pearls: 1 tsp
  • Option: if finger lime not available :Tassie salmon fish roe: 1 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander sprig s

Building the doughnut:

  1. Bake the Chinese doughnut in a 170 degree pre heated oven for 6 minutes , alternately spray some canola oil and put it in an air fryer for 5 mins at 200 Degrees C .
  2. Remove and Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Allow to cool down for 3-4 minutes and spoon the prepared crab mix along the length of the doughnut.
  4. Repeat the step for the other 3 doughnut sticks.
  5. Using a tea spoon, spoon the prepared egg yolk jam onto of the crab in a thin single line.
  6. Next using a fine grater or micro plane, grate the candied egg yolk onto of the crab mix.
  7. Next assemble the finger lime pearls across the crab, randomly so that every bite can get some of the pearls, you may also ad the salmon roe if you like in a similar fashion.
  8. Now place the coriander springs onto this mix and serve, while the doughnuts are still warm.













  1. Apoorva

    Thank you for the lovely feature .

  2. Dr. Anita Rao

    Congratulations Apoorva ! Great achievements. So proud of you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *