Meet Akshay Parkar, a 5-star chef who opened a Biryani stall to earn living amid the pandemic

Chef Akshay Parkar's inspiring tale will help you'll to uplift morale amid the pandemic.

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2020 closed the employment doors for many due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, however, it also gave a ray of hope to a few. Amidst lockdown, the food and hospitality sector was one of the most affected sectors due to which many workers lost their jobs. Amongst them was a Mumbai-based 5-star chef Akshay Parkar who used to work at Taj Group of Hotels and international cruises. He holds eight years of working experience with international luxury cruises and five-star hotels.

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Akshay lost his job but didn't lose hope. He opened a small roadside stall at J.K. Sawant Marg in Dadar and started selling 5-star style biryani. The chef named the shop as 'Parkar Biryani House'. Using his culinary experience and investing an amount of Rs. 10,000 he began selling 5kg biryani a day. The rich aroma of mouth-watering savoury dish started attracting many footfalls in no time Akshay started selling more than 7kg biryani.

The star chef's menu offers chicken and mutton biryani at Rs. 900/kg and Rs. 1500/kg. He has also given an option for all the vegetarians- veg and paneer biryanis which are sold at Rs. 800/kg and Rs. 1,200/kg respectively. Apart from preparing amazing biryanis, Akshay also makes flavourful Butter Chicken, North Indian style savouries and other food items through personal orders. 

Due to the lack of financial help, Akshay couldn't afford to promote his shop on food delivery and other advertising platforms. However, he used the social media platform Facebook to boost his business by sharing lip-smacking pictures of his dishes. He also shared on a few Whatsapp groups that he was a part of. His stall gained popularity after his story was shared by Being Malwani on their FB page. 

Recently, in an interview, Akshay said that his parents have been ill for a while now. His mother has undergone two operations for a fractured knee and an elbow injury. His father lost his job after the flour mills closed down and he has been recuperating from tuberculosis for years.

The sole bread-earner further mentioned that he earned $1,000 a month. But all his savings were spent on his parents’ medical treatment. With their advanced age and prior health conditions, his parents were not eligible for the medical insurance policy, making the treatment very expensive.

Talking about the COVID-19 pandemic hit he said that he had thought that after years of struggle he would be able to save more after the treatments but was left with just Rs 20,000 in his savings when he returned home from the cruise this year. However, with very little money during the lockdown, meeting daily expenses became difficult. He realised that he had to do something quickly to sustain his family and so he decided to use his cooking abilities. He decided to cook biryani at home and sell it during the evenings on the street.