Jambalaya Eatery owner Tapash Ghosh knows there are no shortcuts when it comes to running a successful business, and creating food that diners love.
Since he took over at Jambalaya in Manly Village a few months ago, he has been regularly putting in 12-hour days, doing everything from shopping for fresh vegetables to cooking all the food on the Mexican and American-style menu. For several of the dishes, meat is slow cooked so that it falls off the bone.
Tapash says he always dreamed of being a chef. He trained after leaving school and has been living and cooking in New Zealand for 17 years; this includes winning awards at culinary fairs in 2010 and 2017.
He says he learned to love cooking the Southern American-style ribs, burgers and fried chicken while working at the Waterfront Café and Bar in Auckland’s viaduct harbour and brought this style to Jambalaya Eatery, which is the first restaurant he has owned.
Among his specialities are fried chicken “just like Grandma used to make” and pork ribs with a homemade sweet chipotle sauce – the ‘secret ingredient’ is a dash of Jack Daniels. Signature dish ‘The Jambalaya’ is a spiced stew that is proving popular with customers.
Recently live Blues and Jazz on Saturdays were introduced which goes with the retro USA feel.
Brought on board as manager when Jambalaya re-opened two months ago, Kaycee Twort is also a trained bartender and barista, who prides herself on making great coffee.
She says the restaurant’s philosophy is to provide an open and inviting environment with great customer service, where food comes first.
Jambalaya is open from 10.30am until late, seven days a week.