Q&A: Chaat Street’s Vaibhav Vishen 

Fresh from winning best burger in the 2022 Wellington on a Plate festival, we chat to Chaat Street’s chef Vaibhav Vishen.

Chaat Street’s vegetarian burger, Dabeli, beat off 200 competitors to win the title. Vaibhav’s inspiration for the burger and Chaat Street itself, was to bring genuine Indian flavours to New Zealand. The restaurant opened on Victoria Street in April this year following a successful pop-up for Wellington on a Plate 2021.

Vaibhav earnt his stripes in culinary world working as head chef of Mr. Go’s, and for Spring Kitchen, as well as being Aston Norwood’s former executive chef. He also co-owns the Books N Bricks cafe in Auckland.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up I wanted to be a chef. But coming from a family of educationists there was an expectation from me to be in an academically leaning a career.

I ended up studying a degree in computer science to fulfil the social expectation, and eventually I ended up doing a degree in culinary arts in Wellington at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu.  

What’s your bad habit? 

I rarely socialise with friends and family. I value my work more than anything and this is something I really need to work on.  

What’s your go-to takeaway order? Or your favourite dining out dish?     

Nasi goreng at Little Penang. It’s delish!  

What’s your biggest regret? 

Working with someone toxic, who almost made me believe that I shouldn’t be a chef.

My self-doubt got to a point where I genuinely starting to think that I should drop cooking.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Keep your head down and say “yes” to the things that scare you. Constantly challenge yourself and allow yourself to become better and learn new things.  

Challenging yourself can surprise you with the things you didn’t think you could do. 

What are you watching, reading, or listening to at the moment? 

I’m reading The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. 

Read more Q&As here.


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