Chef’s Special: Bishnu Neupane, Head Chef, Basil Dunfermline

Basil serves a range of curries inspired by the Indian royal court, showcasing dishes from across India. Head chef Bishnu Neupane draws on experience from some of the most respected Indian restaurants in the UK.

How long have you been in the industry and how did you start?

Over 25 years. I always wanted to be a chef, inspired by my mother’s fantastic cooking and having eaten really good food at home.

What’s your career highlight so far?

Working in London at Benares, a Michelin-starred Indian, for a time, along with several other acclaimed London restaurants, such as Chutney Mary, and then returning to Scotland to head up Basil.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

Sourcing authentic ingredients and maintaining those channels to keep up consistently high standards – I don’t like to compromise.

How would you describe your restaurant and its food?

The food we serve at Basil is inspired by the lavish dishes of the Indian royal court. There is colour, spice and fantastic plating which entices the eye and the tastebuds.

Describe your staff

Very hard working and loyal, a great team who understand my food and what I am trying to achieve at Basil.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?

Salmon – I love it.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?

Grilled salmon or seabass for my family.

Is there any food you dislike?

Junk food – I don’t eat it!

What makes a good chef?

Hard work, dedication, commitment, all of these attributes. But an abiding love of good food – this is what I have and have had from a very young age when I was enthralled by my mother’s cooking!

What’s a top tip every chef should know?

Keep it seasonal and consistent. Chop herbs when they are dry, not wet.

What makes you laugh in the kitchen?

My co-workers!

Who do you admire most in the industry and why?

GS Thapa, an Indian chef. He is not alive anymore but he was a huge inspiration to me.

How do you relax outside of work?

Family time – more cooking, really, as I love to cook for them and make them happy through food!

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had and where was it?

At home with my family with recipes passed down through the generations which remind me of my mother.

Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?

I would invite other professional Indian chefs and again we would just eat at my home in a relaxed atmosphere and discuss food ideas all night!