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CHEF OF THE WEEK

Born to an industrialist father from Ernakulam, (Kerala) Chef Boby Jacob graduated with a diploma in hotel management from IIMS and trained with Starwood property in Kerala for about 30 months.

Chef Boby began his culinary journey from Le Meridian, Mumbai in 2001, where he worked for two years till 2003. Later, in the year 2003, he joined a premium cruise liner catering to the varied clientele of Europe, the Mediterranean and America. He sailed the seas, working extensively in various ships, mastering the art of making sauces, grills and roasts for more than a decade.

Working under the expert tutelage of chefs like Trevor Glass, Trevor Coloney and Carl Withes, he learned the intricacies of modern European cuisines. He also got an opportunity to work with celebrity Chef Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in the UK, for two years. This assignment proved to be a breakthrough in his career. In 2014, Chef Boby Jacob joined The Lalit Hotel, Delhi as Sous Chef and in 2017, he came on-board with The Claridges as Chef de Cuisine, with the aim of making it the finest destination for European gastronomy.

Being associated with one of the oldest and a heritage-luxury property, Chef Boby has been able to expand his horizon, with the freedom to operate in an open environment and seek constant guidance that can enable him to satisfy the diners.

In a candid conversation, he reveals more about his work and himself:

How do you define yourself?
I am a very simple human being, with an eye for finer things. I believe in simplicity and have the same approach towards my profession too. I believe in maintaining authenticity, be it in my food or in my nature.

What is your philosophy of cooking?
Keeping it original and not copying. Rather inspiring is the key, I believe. Nowadays, any dish can be cooked in various versions, but the charm lies in the original taste. So I keep everything original and authentic. But I keep experimenting with presentations.

If you were not a chef, then what would you have done?
I would definitely have been cultivating vegetables in Kerala, if I wasn’t a chef. The thought of growing food has always excited me and I would have definitely taken that up.

Who is your inspiration?
Undoubtedly, my mother, who has been my constant strength and pillar, driving the entire family. We all look up to her.

What was the most rewarding moment of your career?
When I got a chance to work with UK celebrity Chef Marco Pier White

What skills are necessary to be a good chef?
Passion is the key that drives you to be the best.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
A passionate chef

What is your favourite cuisine?
Italian, French and south Indian

What is your favourite spice?
Cardamom

What is your favourite dish?
Whatever I cook

What is your favourite equipment?
Sous Vide

What is your favourite restaurant?

Noma, Copenhagen

Who is your favourite diner?
A hungry guest

What are the lessons you learnt in the kitchen?
One step at a time

If it were to be your last meal on earth, what would you choose?
Butter chicken masala

What is the best career advice you have received?
To be a self-made millionaire. , I am working towards it.

What would you advise someone who is interested in working in your field?
Stick to originality and authenticity.