YumSugar: Where do your menu items (like chilli cheese uthappam and tomato basil biryani, both on the menu at Arka) come from?
Sachin Chopra: Working in various upscale restaurants over the years, both Indian and American, I developed a passion for combining the best elements of each. Arka's menu is a reflection of that passion; it is my interpretation of classic Indian food, presented with Californian sensibilities.
YS: I've noticed a trend toward the fusion of Indian and Latin ingredients. Does that influence you at all in your menu development? Do you think the Latin-Indian fusion concept has mainstream potential?
SC: We have an abundance of fresh produce here [in California], and it so happens that some of the same ingredients that make Latin cuisines delicious also work well with Indian food. Sure, there could be a market for Latin-Indian fusion, provided the chef respects each cuisine and is masterful in combining them.
YS: What are some other trends you're seeing in Indian cuisine today?
To find out his answer, keep reading.