Chef Chat

Chef Chat, Part 2: Shiva Patel of the Queen Vic Pub and Kitchen

Yesterday we spoke with Chef Shiva Patel about how she came to start new British- and Indian-inspired restaurant, the Queen Vic. In today's segment, we learn more about her culturally rich heritage and how it's manifested on the playful menu.

EOW: Culturally speaking, both the Queen Vic and Oporto Cafe are influenced by strong familial roots (India, England, Portugal and Italy). Are there other types of cuisine that you have a strong affinity for, either through family ties or by sheer interest and curiosity? SP: My parents were born in East Africa. So I would like to begin an exploration of Tanzanian flavors, which are very much so tied to Indian cuisine. Also, I really enjoy Thai food!

EOW: A large amount of Houstonians have a palate for strong flavors and heat. How has this worked in your favor and against you in serving Indian and British inspired food?

SP: Houstonians have been very receptive to our flavors and seem eager to explore our style of cuisine in a comforting atmosphere.

EOW: The menu displays a great deal of fun and originality, from the Sunday Pot Roast to the High Tea. For you, what is the most enjoyable part in planning the menu?

SP: Executing the menu as well as seeing the final product is definitely the most enjoyable part of the planning.

EOW: Are there any recipes on the menu that you're most proud of?

SP: Our curry is awesome. It is my Mom's recipe. We make it the way she still does, which is a time-consuming process; however, you can put it on a rubber shoe and it will taste good!

EOW: The Queen Vic has a wide array of beers on tap, and you even offer a few beer flights; what's in store for the beer program in the future? SP: We plan on having a monthly beer dinner and eventually growing a Queen Vic beer club from it. Check in tomorrow as we sink our teeth into a few items off the unique High Tea menu.

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Nancy Kerschen