A hardcore Mumbai boy Vikas Milhoutra who has worked both locally and globally, has recently joined Taj Dubai as Executive Chef, a place where he would be able to uphold the high culinary standards with the freedom to revolutionise the menus. Diners will be challenged to broaden their palates to indulge in anything from Indian to World cuisine. He will oversee all food related operations including banqueting, in-room dining, Byzantium Lounge, Tesoro, Treehouse, Eloquent Elephant and the award winning Bombay Brasserie. Prior to joining Taj Dubai, he worked as Executive Chef of Taj Santacruz hotel from pre-opening time. He is bound to be transforming the hotel kitchen with a modern approach to classic cuisine. He has travelled the world. He has worked in prominent properties of Taj in Goa, Maldives and London.
Chef Vikas graduated with excellence from India’s first and best esteemed Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and applied Nutrition (IHM) Mumbai, in 1987. He began his culinary career with Iconic flagship property, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai. From there on after ten years of service at the prestigious property, he excelled to become Sous Chef at the award winning Golden Dragon restaurant.
Beginning of culinary journey:
Vikas Milhoutra’s love affair with food began at a young age. He helped his mother during a family vacation while we stayed at a fully equipped chalet. Whilst travelling with his parents around India, Vikas was wowed by the diversity of the cuisines he discovered. The new ingredients, cooking techniques, traditions and flavours fascinated him, inspiring him to learn more. His mind firmly set on a career in food and hospitality and with the determination to achieve the best. Three decades of culinary journey in India’s oldest hotel chain has sharpened his skills and his cuisines are well appreciated wherever he was posted.
The main influences that made him interested in food and cooking as a career:
Chef’s skill is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; Vikas was determined to be a chef and followed his intuition. Today his name is synonymous in culinary arena to be a finest chef. He believes that, to get to a person’s heart is through his/her stomach was the key driving force. The vibrancy of colours of produce from different origins and fragrance of spices /herbs was like a therapy. Once you get this orchestrated together in a great recipe the satisfaction and happiness on the faces the guests is a big reward. It is like performing a LIVE opera where the appreciation or otherwise is instantaneous.
Chef Vikas Milhoutra says “It’s going to be really exciting to oversee a bigger operation. I want people to come to the hotel to relish food of Taj, which is globally popular for several decades. My philosophy with food has always been, to keep it simple, concentrate on real ingredients and try not to over manipulate them”.
Some facts about Chef Vikas:
Chef Vikas’s favourite dish is Peking duck, because it requires a great amount of skill of all cooking techniques to get it perfect, a good Peking duck is a work of art. A cuisine that he wants to admire and want to learn is Japanese, the art of perfection. His secret great food is to understand his ingredients, know his guest’s taste, perfect the cooking techniques and always go by instincts. It is necessary to taste the food before you let it pass to guests table, ask yourself the question, will you eat a second serving of the same? Think, and if the answer is yes, than let it go. Chef Jason Atherton from London, who runs the highly successful Pollen Street Social, inspires him. He loves to watch culinary show namely My Kitchen Rules. In his free time, chef Vikas likes to spend time with family and nothing else.
Author: Sitaram Mewati – Award Winning Journalist