Rohit Ghai: The making of a Michelin-starred chef
Michelin-starred Rohit Ghai has become one of the culinary world’s most in-demand chefs after a hugely successful decade on the London restaurant scene. He was recently awarded his latest prestigious Michelin star at Jamavar, Mayfair and now he enters an exciting new era in his career, with his first solo venture.
Chef Ghai’s precise and innovative cooking techniques and dishes have won him praise from celebrities, dignitaries and some of the nation’s most discerning food critics.
“My opinion remains unchanged that this is the best Indian food in London right now,” Andy Hayer on Jamavar London.
“We are almost deliriously happy with our small plates, which is where Chef Ghai struts his stuff most ingeniously and impressively,” Fay Maschler on Jamavar London.
Chef Ghai describes his approach as a marriage of passion with precision. “I like to deconstruct traditional recipes before reinventing them in my own way, fine-tuning flavours and textures. I always use fresh British ingredients and am constantly looking to evolve.
It’s a completely unique approach but Chef Ghai’s philosophy is rooted in authenticity. His love affair with food began in his mother’s kitchen, in his native Punjab, India.
Here the young Rohit would help prepare family meals using fresh local ingredients and spices. He still recalls the aromas so distinctly and it is here that his strong emotional connection with Indian cooking blossomed.
With his passion for food ignited, Rohit went on to study Indian cuisine at the Institute of Hotel Management in New Delhi, before perfecting his craft at some of India’s most esteemed hotel groups, including the Oberoi Hotels and Resorts and The Taj Hotels and Resorts. Here he learned and mastered the vast regional cuisines of India.
With such extensive experience and knowledge of Indian cuisine and cooking techniques an international career beckoned.
In 2008 Chef Ghai joined Michelin-starred Benares in London’s Mayfair, where he developed an understanding about the British palate and French techniques.
In 2013, as a talented rising star in the London restaurant scene, his creative flair for cooking earned him a role as Executive Chef of two Michelin-starred restaurants, Trishna and Gymkhana plus Hoppers from the award-winning JKS Group.
Here he developed signature Indian and Sri Lankan dishes, which stayed true to their traditional flavours and reflected the essence and vision of the restaurants.
Chef Ghai’s most recent venture, in 2016, was heading up the Leela Group’s esteemed Jamavar. The concept was unique – to take North and South and unite them with one menu under a singular fine dining experience.
Jamavar was awarded a Michelin star within ten months of the restaurant’s opening, making Chef Ghai the first Indian chef to receive the accolade in under a year. Continually striving for excellence, he went on to open Bombay Bustle, the Group’s second venture in Mayfair, to rapturous reviews.
The highlight of Chef Ghai’s career came in late 2017 when he was invited by the Government of India, as one of an elite group of chefs, to attend the World Food 2017 event, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It was such an honour to be selected for this prestigious event and to meet the Prime Minister,” he reflects.
Having recently moved from Jamavar, Chef Rohit Ghai is set for the next episode in his career… more details will be revealed soon.