Chef Akshraj Jodha has been recently appointed as Executive Chef at ITC Windsor Bengaluru. Prior to his new assignment, he was working as Executive Chef, Welcom Hotel Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Being a veteran in the culinary space, he brings a dynamic, innovative energy to the dining experience at this luxury hotel. He is a Blue Blooded and hails from Royal family of Rajasthan. With his vast experience and deep understanding of an insatiable demand for a delectable fare, he has gained expertise in catering to large banquets and also spearheaded operations across bars, lounges and fine dining restaurants, making his culinary journey remarkable. His passion, zeal and dedication towards food at every stage have helped him evolve into a versatile personality thus accepting various roles. He will incorporate his creativity and passion adding his personal and sophisticated techniques to his culinary creations.
He is fortunate to complete his basic schooling from prestigious, “King George Royal Indian Military College” Ajmer or “Military School Ajmer”. Thereafter he pursued his catering education from India’s prominent Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Mumbai, 1997-2000 batch.
Foundation of career:
After completing his catering graduation, he joined ITC hotel chain as Kitchen Executive trainee. After intense training under top Chef’s of the Indian culinary industry, he was posted at ITC’s flagship property Maurya in New Delhi. He was a part of opening team of ITC Maratha hotel in Mumbai and ITC Sonar Bangla in Kolkatta. As he wanted to enhance his culinary skills and to know more about Global cuisine, he moved out of the country and joined Shangri-la hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The ancestors dwelling in his blood, who all his life had summoned him to repatriate back. That is how things happen; you pack your bags and find yourself walking home, it happened with Chef Akshraj too. He moved back to India, typically, a homecoming. After returning back to India, he joined ITC Rajputana hotel in Jaipur and later posted at Welcom hotel Jodhpur. Chef Akshraj has consistently set industry benchmarks to high standards of fine dining and elite banqueting. He has completed various training programs in relation to time management, team building, staff motivation and customer service on various platforms.
Chef Akshraj is winner of All India Student’s Chef’s Nationwide Competition held in year 2000. He is fortunate to be trained under legendary and Padmashri Awardee Chef Imtiaz Qureshi in Dumpukht. He is a Custodian of Royal Rajasthani Cuisine for the ITC hotel chain. He has cooked culinary delicacies to India’s Ace artist – M F Husain at Dum Pukht Restaurant in ITC Sonar Bangla. He has also served to His Excellency Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei on various occasions during his tenure in Shangri-la hotel Kuala Lumpur. He is featured on TLC Channel with David Rocco. He is fortunate to assist well known Film Director Gurinder Chadha, in setting up of kitchen for her famous movie “Viceroy’s House”.
Inspiration from family:
There are certain things which are in born and spontaneous. Despite a part of Royal family, he always had a passion to be a chef and he nurtured that dream. His family is into travel trade industry and always motivated him to enter into hotel industry. After seeing his inclination, his father suggested him to join the Hotel Industry, which he blissfully accepted and not looked back thereafter.
The Royal Links:
Chef Akshraj has lineage with Royal family. They are the direct lineage of Rao Chandrasen and settled in a village called “Deolia Kalan” in Tahsil Bhinay in Ajmer district of Rajasthan. His father Rao Saheb Laxman Singhji is 14th and present Rao Saheb of Deolia Kalan. His ancestral roots have spread from Royal family of Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Dhrangdhra in Gujarat Royal family. His forefather Roa Jodha founded the city of Jodhpur. Rao Jodha’s great Grandson Rao Chadrasen became the ruler of Jodhpur. Rao Chadrasen had to leave his throne as he did not want to be with Akbar for reason best known to him, later he settled near Ajmer.
Chef Akshraj says “I’m extremely excited for this new and exciting chapter, and the challenges which lie ahead. I find it exhilarating to bring people together through food, by creating unique and memorable dining experiences for guests. I’m looking forward to further enhancing the culinary offerings at Windsor Hotel and creating menus that are fresh, healthy and local. We have an incredibly talented and hard-working culinary team and I’m confident we will continue to impress throughout.
Apart from being extremely enthusiastic about culinary, he is also very passionate about paintings, he has displayed his paintings in Jaipur Literature Fair and other art exhibitions. He is avid photographer, collects antique artefacts and old photos too. Akshraj is married with Baisa Vijeta Singh Shekhawat, daughter of Late Thakur Singhji Jhajhad (Sikar) and has one son namely Arudra Jodha.
Author: Sitaram Mewati
Award winning journalist