CHEF & OWNER
How It All Began
Working in the food industry for 25+ years, I have drawn inspiration from all over the world, seamlessly synthesising the familiar and the unknown to form daringly bold flavours and class. The carefully-crafted menu accentuates the uniquely exquisite flavours that have come to define JALFREZI. This one-of-a-kind and intimate experience will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.
A love for food lies deep within my DNA. I enjoyed cooking with my parents as a child, and my passion later grew through travel, where they savoured the tastes and textures of many different cultures. These experiences, coupled with extensive professional training, makes me one of the most innovative and celebrated chefs today.
Hotel Management was really a turning point in my life. Somehow, all the subjects looked interesting to me, I went to "Hotel Asia" in Jammu Tawi for industrial training for two months. At the very start of my journey I got the exposure in four major departments - Kitchen, F&B, Housekeeping and Front office, so basically two weeks in each department then I went to Hotel Rama International, Aurangabad for my summer training. Finally after the completion of my Hotel school, my family shifted to New Delhi, It was a task to find a job in New Delhi as I applied in almost all the hotels but without success.
Then one fine day I came across an ad in the newspaper for some kitchen positions in Oberoi Towers Bombay, Luckily I got selected for the position of Commis II in The Oberoi Bombay, one of the biggest hotels in India. Don't you think that I was so fortunate. I must have thanked my God at that time.
I was passionate about the taste of my food and acquired this sense at home, even today I ask the young chefs “who is the best cook in the world” and most of the time I get the correct answer because cooking food is an art which originates from a passionate and happy heart. When mother cooks the food, she puts her 100% of enthusiasm as she knows that her family has to remain healthy and happy.I am sure if a professional chef carries this feeling in his heart, he can master the art of cooking. Cooking is a noble profession where a chef satisfies a person's hunger and in return he/she gets a lot of blessings from a human being.
I began my professional journey in 1986, I was assigned to handle the Indian section of La Brasserie, where we were serving limited Indian Menu – Butter Chicken, Prawn Curry, Vegetable Biryani. Indian kitchen of both the properties (HOT and TOB) were headed by Indian Executive Chef S S Rana, my first real Culinary Guru and he taught me how to make Indian breads’ dough – Naan, Roti, Missi Roti, Methi Dough, Makai Dough etc. Kebabs like Tandoori murgh, Chicken Tikka, Green Tangdi kebab, Tandoori aloo, Seekh kebab, paneer tikka, tandoori prawns etc. and curries - Dal Makhani, Chutney dum aloo, Kadi pakoda and Mutton dum biryani and have since worked on a number of solo and collaborative projects. I take pride in the work that I do and in the long-term relationships that I’ve built.
As a passionate and detail-oriented industry professional, I enjoy approaching big projects with a holistic approach. A large part of my success while working with people stems from my ability to cultivate an intuitive understanding of their needs, and spearhead the project from there as in 1988, the Belvedere club was conceptualised. I was very lucky to be a part of the opening team and making one dish everyday as a part of “Du Jour Menu”. The best part is when you cook something new on your own, you tend to remember this throughout your life. I still cook some of those recipes and always it becomes Superhit
I learnt so much of Conti cuisine and also saw some of the most expensive food of the world – Pate de Foie Gras, White truffles, Duck Confit. After sometime I was handling everything single handedly and let the fellow chefs guide me and was learning the science of cooking as well as the presentation of the food.
I am a firm believer in working hard, working together, and having fun along the way!