Once again Indian Hotels Company (Taj group of hotels) has taken a lead in women empowerment, Xenia Jamshŷd Lam is recently appointed as the Food and Beverage Manager at Taj Holiday Village & Resort Spa, Goa. After a noteworthy and exciting posting in national capital Delhi, Xenia has now moved to India’s most popular beach destination – Goa! In her new assignment she will be responsible for supervising and directing the daily Food & Beverage operations. While working closely with the Chefs to create new and exciting menus and implementing cost cutting strategies, she hopes to raise the bar for fine dining even further.
Educational chattels: Born into a Parsi family, raised in Mumbai, Xenia completed her primary education from prestigiousJ.B. Petit High School. She has earned her Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from IHM, Aurangabad – an affiliate of the University Of Huddersfield, United Kingdom. She also simultaneously secured another Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Business Administration from the Marathwada University, Aurangabad. Xenia later completed her Masters in Gastronomy from the University of Gastronomic Sciences Pollenzo, Italy.
She chosen hospitality career against her parents will: In Greek “Xenia” means “hospitable” so she feels that her profession was pre-ordained. But it was not an easy sailing for her to opt for hospitality profession despite her father; mother and brother were hard-core hospitality professionals. It was against the will of her parents that she joined the industry. Being born and raised in a family of hoteliers – travel, food and hotels became a way of life – it was something she could not live without. Xenia’s parents hoped that she would choose law as a profession but she was destined to be an hotelier. Her father Jamshyd Dinshaw Lam is stalwart of hospitality industry, who began his career with Taj hotels as Management trainee Indian Hotels Limited company, Bombay, 1966—1967. He superannuated as Vice President at Taj Hotels.
Beginning of hospitality journey:This accomplished and multi-talented lady began her career with the Indian Hotels Company Ltd. (IHCL) in 2011 as a Management Trainee. As a part of the training program she received operational and administrative assignments in Delhi, Kolkata and Jaipur. In 2012, Giardino – the Italian Speciality Restaurant at Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur while under Ms. Lam’s management, was awarded ‘The Best Italian Restaurant in Jaipur’ by the Times Food Guide.
First assignment: After a successful completion of her Management Training, Xenia was assigned to Taj Yeshwantpur, Bangalore where she was responsible for the operations of three outlets namely Azure – Mediterranean Speciality, Paranda – Indian Speciality and Shimmer – Bar. A year later she was transferred to Taj Mahal, New Delhi where she gained invaluable experience at Machan and House of Ming before moving on to the In-Room Dining and Amenities cell. Later she was assigned to The Chambers – an exclusive business club of Taj.
Zest to know more: Keen on enhancing her impressive educational background, Xenia garnered invaluable insights and experience in the realm of Food & Beverage when she participated in the Harmony Sustainability – a conference on food and farming as part of the Square Food Foundation (a food charity in Bristol) catering team in United Kingdom. She also interned with this Foundation as well as with The Edinburgh Food Studio (a food research lab) in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Career insights: Among her many achievements, during her tenure at Taj Mahal, New Delhi, Xenia organized an Argentinian Food Festival with Chef Patricia Suarez Roggerone of the Bodega Norton, Argentina and conducted a Spanish Extravaganza with Michelin Star Chefs – Ignacio Solana of Ristorante Solana (1 Michelin Star, 2 Soles Repsol), Cantabria, Spain and Chef Miguel Barrera of Cal Paradis (1 Michelin Star, 2 Soles Repsol), Castelló, Spain. She also set up a pop-up with Chef Thomas and Chef Mattias Sühring of Sühring, Thailand and successfully organized a Colombian Food Festival with Chef Alejandro Guiterrez and Chef Juan Manuel Ortiz. She was also part of a Scottish-Australian pop-up with Chef Jock Zonfrillo and Chef Ben Reade at The Edinburg Food Studio. Ms. Lam is credited with having created and spearheaded ‘The Beverage Club’ at Taj Mahal, New Delhi and in 2018 conducted a Hospitality Workshop for IFS Officers from the Ministry of External Affairs.
Believes in leading ahead of time: Having received extensive training herself, Xenia, lays stress on “Conducting refresher-training programs for her staff and providing guidance to the new members of the department.” She strongly believes that it is imperative that she and her staff remain informed about local, national and international best practices and trends in service, interior design, technology and entertainment in Food & Beverage in order to always remain ahead of the competition.
Diverse interests: With interests as diverse as golf, art, reading, writing, collecting shot glasses and currently pursuing Italian and Spanish language courses, Xenia is well equipped to effortlessly build conversations and bonds with her guests. She loves to travel and ensures visits to at least three countries in a year. Speaking about her love for travel, she says, “I travel extensively. It helps me broaden my horizons when it comes to people, culture and food. So far, I have travelled to 27 different countries and each visit has brought me some wonderful experiences.” Passionate about her work with a love for cooking, Xenia makes an invaluable addition to the dynamic team at Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa.
Upon her appointment, Xenia stated that “She is proud of being part of this important tourist destination in Goa and her intention is to work together with all team members to serve the hotel’s guests, customers and visitors”. She further added that “She will share her experience and expertise with the Food and Beverage department at Taj Holiday Village & Resort Spa, Goa and will maintain and improve the quality of its services, together with other hotel sections”.