Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chef of The Week: Rajeev Janveja

Rajeev Janveja
Rajeev Janveja, Corporate Chef, Lemon Tree Hotels, is directly responsible for all the 25 hotels that fall under the three brands- the Lemon Tree Premier, Lemon Tree Hotels and Red Fox brands. He is also accountable for the group’s upcoming hotel projects. Rajeev’s key mandate at Lemon Tree is to develop food concepts that cater to the mid-market business traveler who is looking for unique food experiences.

During his illustrious career, he has launched many quality restaurants like the Machan and Ricks at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi; ARENA, an international all day dining at the Taj Deccan and the iconic restaurant Thai Pavillion at Vivanta by Taj, Begumpet. He was closely involved in the renovation, planning and opening of the Indian restaurant Masala Bay at the Taj Land’s End, Mumbai.

Rajeev has been a part of various high profile food promotions across the world and has participated in cookery sessions in countries like Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia and France. He has also featured on cookery shows on Star TV and Sony TV. Rajeev is also the proud recipient of the ‘TATA Award for Business Excellence’ for achieving operational excellence at the all day dining restaurant Paradise Lounge, at Taj Deccan Hyderabad.

With a career spanning over 29 years, he brings with him a rich and relevant experience of launching exciting new restaurants and food concepts, with his energies currently focussed on establishing the all new 'Republic of Noodles' at Lemon Tree Premier, Aerocity, New Delhi. Here's a chat with him:

1.      What is the latest addition to your menu?

Banana Wrapped Fish In Balinese Spices

2.      The hottest selling item on your menu?

Banana Wrapped Fish In Balinese Spices

3.      One dish you are extremely proud of creating?
Dum Achari Nali Gosht

4.      Which is the oldest dish on your menu?
Mhad Noodles

5.      Most expensive dish on the menu?
Pot Roasted Spare Ribs And Javanese Duck

6.      The dish on your menu that gives the most value for money
Mhad Noodles With Grilled Chicken

7.      The best thing about being a chef?
It’s a lovely way to keep everyone’s palates happy.

8.      The worst thing about being a chef.

To satisfy everyone’s perception of food.

9.  The best home cooked dish you enjoy. Who cooks it?

Murg Ka Bharta. Made by my wife of course. And Strawberry Pancake by my daughter.

10.  If you were not a chef, what would you have been? And why?

There is no doubt in my mind that I would not have been a chef.

11.  One chef you really admire and look upto?

Bade Mian- Md Shafiq who taught me cuisine.

12.  What’s the USP of your restaurant?

The USP Of RON lies in the vast variety of Pan-Asian food it offers to its diners under one roof .

13.  How did you adapt the cuisine to the local tastes? 
Based on the feedback.

14.  What do you like about the city you are in?

Delhi is in love with its tastebuds and Delhites adore their food, are experimental and don’t hesitate to try. This inspires and challenges me to deliver a variety of cuisines.

15.  How have food popular shows influenced and inspired people about food?

These shows have brought recognition to the chefs by common man & made them household names.

16.  One guest you wish to be able to create a dish for. Who would that be? And what would you serve him/her?

Vir Sanghvi- Create the old dishes from my mother kitchen Haveli, which are difficult to find.

19.  Your food mantra?

Cook happily and serve happily

20.  Would you like to share a special recipe or two with our readers?


Satay Kai - Chicken Satay

-    Chicken Supreme (30gm) – 5 Supremes
-    Curry powder- 15 Gms
-    Coriander Roots Paste - 10gm
-    Lemongrass Paste - 10gm
-    Coconut milk - 15ml
-    Sugar - 8gm
-    Cooking Oil - 10ml
-    Bamboo Skewers – 5 nos
-    Salt – to taste
-    Combine all the ingredients expect chicken to make a marinade
-    Rub the marinade to the chicken supreme’s and keep it refrigerated for 3-4 hrs
-    Insert the supreme’s into the bamboo skewers
-    Grill till golden brown and serve with peanut sauce

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