Steaking a Claim

A Chopped Champion Takes Over at Hotel Derek

Chef Roshni Gurnani brings her Gordon Ramsay-approved upscale Texas cuisine to Revolve Kitchen + Bar.

By Julia Gsell August 21, 2017

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Chef Roshni Gurnani's upscale twist on a Texas favorite, chicken fried steak. 

Image: Hotel Derek

"Houston is the New York of the South," the new executive chef at Hotel Derek’s Revolve Kitchen and Bar, Roshni Gurnani, says. With our James Beard Foundation award-winning chefs, culture and affordability, this is the perfect city for the upscale, locally sourced cuisine Gurnani plans to bring to the kitchen at Revolve Kitchen + Bar, she adds.  

Born and raised Canadian, Gurnani’s ethnicity is Indian. And like many Canadians before her, the camera seems to love her. She won a 2009 episode of the Food Network's hit show Chopped. In 2012, she appeared on season 10 of Fox's Hell's Kitchen, and was one of very few contestants to receive only kind words from Gordon Ramsay.

Gurnani has called Houston home for four years, and now, she’s bringing her international experience to the kitchen at Hotel Derek. “I learned how to cure meats in Europe, learned how to catch fish in Asia,” she says. “These experiences make me want to put new things on the menu and teach my staff.”

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Chef Gurnani. 

Image: Hotel Derek

Gurnani and her staff are adding an upscale twist to traditional Texas cuisine. Take for example, the chicken fried steak, Gurnani’s favorite dish on her new menu.

“Chicken fried steak was the first meal I had when I came to Texas,” she says. “It’s not appealing to the eye.”

But her version of the Texas classic vastly improves matters. Gurnani is cutting her own meat and using beef tenderloin, many (literal) cuts above the cheap, tough steaks usually used in CFS. She’s adding an international edge with Indian spices in the creamy gravy, and stuffing the meat with collard greens rather than letting them rest on the side. Instead of plopping a glob of mashed potatoes on the plate, Gurnani dusts the dish in a potato flour. “It’s sexy,” she says.

What’s more? Everything in the kitchen will be made from scratch—down to the condiments. All of the vegetables will be pickled in house. Every meat and every cheese will be aged in house. 

Gurnani has been working on perfecting Revolve's menu since July, while simultaneously crafting the new fall menu, which debuts on September 5.  

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