People: Lal’s love for cooking

Kavneel Lal posing for a photo outside his restaurant in Lautoka. Picture: SUPPLIED

When he entered high school, Kavneel Lal had already made up his mind on what he wanted to become in life and education was a prerequisite to achieving this.

The chef said his love for cooking had him as the only male student taking home economics in Year 9.

“I was the only boy among the many girls taking up the course. I knew that much later in life, when I open my own restaurant, the knowledge attained at a young age would certainly come in handy,” he said.

Mr Lal worked at various restaurants and resorts in the Western Division for the past nine years and took a massive leap when he opened his own eatery — Chief’s Restaurant — at the FSC Bowling Club in Lautoka in October last year.

“In my early days as a chef, I was exposed to a lot of senior executive chefs thus meeting their expectations was difficult and I had my ups and downs, but over the years your dedication and hard work pulls you through.”

Mr Lal, who holds a diploma in hotel and catering, said a lesson we all learned in life was only a few people would stand by your side during trying times.

“You will find very less people standing alongside you in your hard times, however, in your happiness there would be many.

“Real friendship is shown when people around you help you in your growth and it is very important to stick with them in their hard times.”

He said his parents and retired senior chef Mohammed Aiyub, who is a helping hand at his restaurant, are his role models.

“My parents have supported me a lot and they are my motivation in life.

“They have taught me to be hardworking. My friend, Mr Aiyub, who is a senior citizen, if he is still working post retirement then I have a long way to go.”

Mr Lal, 29, said he wanted to further develop his fast food eatery.

“There will always be ups and downs such as the likes of COVID-19. In fact when I lost my employment during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed me to open up my own business. One must be always positive in life.”

He said people must believe in their goals and work towards it no matter what challenges you face.

Mr Lal lives with his parents and his younger brother in Rifle Range, Lautoka.

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