With most art, you produce it once and then people consume it. As a chef, you produce it and produce it and produce it. There is no time to sit back and appreciate your own genius, no time to watch the money and awards roll in. Sahrawat, 35, is on his feet for more than 12 hours most days, slicing carrots and cooking scallops and vacuuming the floor of the kitchen 20 times a day with his portable dustbuster.
A great restaurant is about repetition. This sounds as glamorous as it isn't. Three hundred and twenty plates go out each night at Sidart and every version of each dish has to look the same. Every day for a month you do the hard work of emulating what you've already done hundreds of times before. If you don't have a crazy love for perfection, you're not going anywhere.
Sahrawat's father was in the army and used to stress discipline and consistency. "They're things I've always taken from him," he says. "Sometimes the kitchen has to be like a small army."
He has built a solid team around him. This has been crucial to his success, he says. Three of his four chefs have been with him for more than a year, which is a reasonable amount of time in the hospitality game. His sous chef has been with him nearly three years. His restaurant manager has been with him nearly two. He's away two days a week at his second restaurant, Cassia, so he needs to be sure the restaurant runs the same way without him as with him.
"You're nothing without your team," he says. "It's a family. We spend more time together than we do with our families."