CTExclusive: Michelin-Star Chef David Myers On Crafting Unforgettable Dining Experiences Through Travel!

Delve into his inspirations, memorable kitchen experiments, and culinary philosophy.

by Mallika Khurana
CTExclusive: Michelin-Star Chef David Myers On Crafting Unforgettable Dining Experiences Through Travel!

About two years ago, the national capital became home to a culinary gem that blended the traditions of Japan with the vibrant spirit of California in India. ADRIFT Kaya, the brainchild of Michelin-star chef David Myers, calls out food enthusiasts on a gastronomic journey like no other. In the JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi, this modern izakaya offers exceptional experiences in every way.

As you step through the doors of ADRIFT Kaya, the first thing to captivate your senses is the ambiance—a perfect fusion of Japanese tradition and contemporary chic. Designed by the legendary Timothy Oulton, every corner represents craftsmanship and elegance.

Recently, I had the extraordinary privilege of meeting Chef David Myers himself as he unveiled a tantalising new menu at ADRIFT Kaya. It was a Sunday unlike any other, for obvious reasons. As we exchanged pleasantries, it became evident that this wasn’t just an ordinary meeting—it was a rendezvous with culinary greatness. I sat down for an Omakase meal and savoured every bite of every course. However, the experience didn’t end there. I also had the privilege of an exclusive interview with him. From his new menu at ADRIFT Kaya to his culinary philosophy, I got to know it all.

Here’s All About The Insights Chef David Myers Shared With Us

1. Can you share some insights into the inspiration behind this new menu at ADRIFT Kaya? How did you marry Japanese cuisine with Californian influences?

JW Marriott
Photo Credits: Mallika Khurana

The inspiration behind merging Japanese cuisine with a Californian twist for the ADRIFT Kaya menu stems from a desire to offer guests a culinary experience that reflects both tradition and innovation. Drawing from my personal travels and cultural immersion, I discovered parallels between the meticulous craftsmanship of Japanese culinary traditions and the emphasis on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients in Japanese cuisine. By blending these influences, we aim to create dishes that pay homage to both cultures while pushing the boundaries of flavour and technique. It’s a tribute to the diverse culinary landscape of California and the timeless allure of Japanese gastronomy.

2. Is there a particular ingredient or flavour combination that you’re experimenting with on this menu that you find especially intriguing?

The menu creation at ADRIFT Kaya promises a tantalising fusion of flavours, blending traditional Japanese elements with a Californian twist. Diners can anticipate a symphony of tastes, where the delicate umami of Japanese cuisine harmonises with the vibrant freshness of sustainable produce. From savoury miso-infused dishes to zesty citrus accents, each plate offers a delightful journey for the palate. Unique combinations, such as sushi rolls with avocado and locally sourced seafood, exemplify our commitment to innovative culinary experiences that celebrate the best of both worlds.

3. Can you share a memorable kitchen experience or unexpected culinary experiment that ultimately led to a delicious discovery for this menu?

We were using a piece of thin Hinoki sheet to present our food on, and we decided to test one by burning it and getting the smoke component to it. That was great for presentation but also smelled so nice for the restaurant so we decided to stick with that. A surprise!

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4. As a chef, what’s your guilty pleasure food that you secretly indulge in when no one’s watching?

“I don’t really have a guilty pleasure in food that I hide from people. I eat healthy most of the time and enjoy whatever I want on those rare occasions.” Chef David loves pasta with a lot of cheese, pizza and burgers. However, he doesn’t eat them often. When he does, he enjoys it completely guilt-free.

5. What’s your go-to comfort food after a long day in the kitchen crafting culinary masterpieces?

“I love to make really simple pasta when I’m too tired to cook a bigger meal. Something simple—just tomato base sauce or even olive oil and Parmesan and chilli flakes is great.” Clearly, when it comes to comfort food, simplicity reigns supreme.

6. If you could only eat one dish from this new menu for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

Photo Credits: Mallika Khurana

When pressed to choose a favourite dish from the new menu, Chef Myers’s love for sushi shines through. He says, “For me, it would be any of our new sushi dishes from the fish that we bring in based on seasonality. I absolutely love sushi, and Kita every day with no issue.”

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7. Are there any quirky food pairings or unexpected flavour combinations on this menu that you think guests will be pleasantly surprised by?

“Tempura: A light and airy batter encases seasonal vegetables and succulent shrimp, fried to a golden crunch. Each bite bursts with contrasting textures, the delicate shell yielding perfectly cooked treasures within. A savoury dashi-infused dipping sauce adds depth, making this a modern take on a timeless classic. Sumi: Delve into the smoky heart of our menu with Sumi, meaning “charcoal” in Japanese. Savour the melt-in-your-mouth texture of premium cuts, the delicate sweetness of miso-marinated black cod, or the ocean’s bounty in perfectly seared scallops. Each bite is a symphony of smoke and flavour, where the natural essence of the ingredients dances with the complexity of binchotan charcoal grilling. Sushi: Indulge in a luxurious trio of flavours with our sushi selection. The medium-fatty Chutoro, renowned for its buttery richness, is crowned with the exquisite briny sweetness of Uni. To elevate the experience further, a decadent crown of Oscietra Caviar adds a burst of indulgence. Each meticulously crafted piece is a testament to the pinnacle of sushi artistry, offering a harmonious symphony of flavours in every bite.”

8. Can you share a bit about the atmosphere and ambiance you envision for guests dining at ADRIFT Kaya while enjoying this new menu?

Photo Credits: Mallika Khurana

Well, our interior was designed by the late, great, Timothy Oulton, and there are so many stories in touch points behind everything that has been picked for the restaurant. The designer of the restaurant has really brought ADRIFT Kaya to life and embodies my vision for what ADRIFT style is.

9. And lastly, if you could sum up your culinary philosophy in a single sentence, what would it be?

In a single sentence, Chef Myers encapsulates his culinary philosophy—”unforgettable dining experiences, all created through the lens of travel.” It is a testament to his belief that food has the power to connect us across cultures and continents.

10. What do you favour more in your recipes:

  • Umami or tangy?

The perfect balance of acid and salt

  • Braised or roasted?

Grilled over charcoal

  • Citrusy or earthy?


  • Exotic or classic?

Classic technique with an exotic edge

  • Raw or fermented?


Discover the culinary fusion of Japanese tradition and California innovation at ADRIFT Kaya, crafted by Michelin-star chef David Myers!

Cover Image Courtesy: Adrift by David Myers/Instagram

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