AFTER running a catering business in India and working as a head chef in Brisbane, Praveen Kumar has opened his own restaurant in Maryborough.
Mr Kumar, 29, and his business partner Kuti came to Australia from India in 2005 and studied culinary cooking in Brisbane before joining forces to open Aussie Punjab Indian Cuisine Restaurant in Kent St last Christmas Eve.
"We wanted to open one in Maryborough as there are not many Indian restaurants here compared to Brisbane where the market is very competitive," Mr Kumar said.
"It's hard to stand out in a place where there are a lot of the same restaurants.
"Here in Maryborough, I believe we are only one of two Indian restaurants and so far every customer is loving our food."
Having years of experience as a head chef in several restaurants in Brisbane, Mr Kumar thinks he's mastered the art of Punjab and northern Indian cooking.
"Before coming to Brisbane, my cousin and I had a food catering business in India which did extremely well so I had the confidence to learn more on cooking with the aim of opening my own restaurant and I'm very happy it finally came true," he said.
Mr Kumar said last month was his busiest period at the restaurant and now not only is he seeing his existing customers come in the door, he is welcoming new customers who are coming in based on recommendations.
"Most of my customers are coming in through word of mouth," he said.
"Our customers love the popular dishes we serve like butter chicken, beef vindaloo and korma."