Chef Nitin Minocha has been recently appointed as Executive Chef at Taj Pamodzi Hotel – Lusaka in Zambia. Prior to his promotion, he was serving as Executive Sous Chef at Taj Santacruz hotel in Mumbai. A veteran in the culinary space, Chef Nitin has consistently set industry benchmarks to high standards of fine dining. He has completed various training programs in relation to time management, team building, staff motivation and customer service. He has won many accolades and awards too. After having gained enough skills and knowledge with several years of experience with Taj, he has continued his passion with food with his vast knowledge in food production. He is known for Self-driven with key focus on five essential parameters, Revenue, Cost Control, Guest Satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction and the overall vision of the management. As an Avid Gourmand, his Forte is Flavor Fusions, Food Styling and Extensive Research and Development in Food without boundaries. He has been blessed with travelling globally and training extensively under Different Michelin Chefs. During his tenure at The Taj Mahal Palace, works of the Legendary Chef Anton Mossiman and Chef Mark Gregory continue to inspire him. His most memorable event was representing India and earning the participation Diplome at the culinary Olympics IKA (Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung), Erfurt, Germany 2008.
Beginning of journey:
His gastronomic Journey commenced with winning the All India Chefs Competition in Year 1995, under the esteemed guidance of his teacher Chef Vernon Coelho. After Joining The Taj Group in its flagship unit at Taj Mahal Palace and Towers in Mumbai, he successfully finished two decades under his mentor, Grand Chef Hemant Oberoi and moved on to Taj Santacruz hotel. The Golden period with the Taj hotel, witnessed him maturing his Knowledge of Food Science and Skills of Evolving French Gastronomic Art, at the Signature French Restaurant Zodiac Grill, for over a decade.
He survived 26/ 11 Terrorist Attack
Chef Minocha got Multiple Bullet injuries on his left hand during 26/11 Terrorist attacks in 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, carried out a series of bomb blasts and attack in Taj hotel and many other prominent places in Mumbai. He considers this one as second life. His close colleagues like Chef Vijay Banja, Chef Kaizaad and others had lost their lives.He was seriously wounded by taking bullets on his hands but made all guests escaped from terrorists as a call of a duty.
Chef Minocha is an alumnus of India’s prestigious Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Mumbai 1995 batch. Prior to joining IHM Mumbai; he did his basic schooling from Army School in Dhaula Kuan in New Delhi which made him disciplined and well articulate. He did his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Delhi University.
Collective Wealth of Advanced Education
During his tenure at Taj Mahal Palace hotel he was sent to various international destinations to enhance and sharpened his culinary skills periodically. Here are few mentions of advanced education he has earned; Harvard University: Haute Cuisine course.
Cornell University: Honor code certificate, Masters Certificate in hospitality Management, Restaurant revenue management, Hospitality Management and Food Service Management.
American Hotel & Motel Association: Food& Beverage Management with Honors, Food & Beverage Service, Food & Beverage Control, Hospitality Supervision, Quality Sanitation Management and Food Production Principles.
American hotels & Lodging Educational Institute: Food Safety Course, Leadership & Management in the Hospitality Industry and Food Safety with the HACCP System – 245.2.
Wine Spectator School USA: Completed ABC’s of Wine. Besides, he has completed many courses and recipient of numerous educational assets from TATA Group and IHM Mumbai periodically.
He has received many accolades’ and awards from time to time including Long service award from Taj Hotel. The award was handed over to him by Ratan Tata – Padma Vibhushan Awardee and former Chairman of TATA Sons.
Participated at the Make in India Initiative at the Hannover Messe 2015, Germany.
Participated and cooked in The World Gourmet Summit -2005, organised by Kurt H Fischer in Las Vegas.
Participated and cooked in The “World Gourmet Summit Organised by Peter A Knipp in Singapore.
Cross trained in London and Paris under various Michelin chefs for 3 months.
Participated at the IKA culinary Olympics, Germany.
Worked on concepts and presentations for fine dine Lufthansa Airlines Menus in Germany.
Chef Nitin, on his appointment said “I am enthusiastic to join as Executive Chef at Taj Pamodzi Lusaka in Zambia. I’m humbled to have this opportunity and look forward to the success of the team. It gives me a great platform to put my gastronomical skills to use and an opportunity to complement my cooking skills in line with international food standards the hotel is known for. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to such an incredible property. I’m also looking forward to continuing to build upon this strong foundation, contributing to the next chapter, by creating energizing experiences for each and every guest. I am excited to take up this new challenge and work with the new team here to keep the magic going on in the kitchen”.
Author: Sitaram Mewati
Award winning journalist