Give us a brief history of your career and what made you choose to be a chef.
All I wanted was to choose a career with abundant scope. It was my Uncle who pushed me in the right direction and motivated me to choose the culinary arts. Once I started dabbling in the culinary arts, I knew that it was what my heart wanted and I haven’t looked back since. Through dedication and practice, I soon developed the aptitude required for a culinary professional to be successful.
Who was the person that was most influential in your career?
There is a long list of people who are responsible for my success as a culinary professional. However, the person who taught me the most basic lesson in cooking was my mother, who imbued in me the philosophy, ‘Cook with your heart rather than your hands.’
What is your culinary philosophy and has it changed throughout your career and why?
Food is all about combining the art and science of culinary skills and has to be made with passion, served with flair. Every cuisine is unique and people of a particular place adapt to their regional cuisine rather than just prefer it. To keep to authentic flavors, I always use fresh, preferably authentic ingredients that can be sourced locally. I like to taste the dish before adding salt to it so that I can sense its real flavors. None of these beliefs and habits has changed over the course of my 28 years as a culinary professional.
What was the moment you are most proud of in your career?
I consider the incorporation in the Indian Federation of Culinary Association and its inclusion into the WACS as one of the landmarks of my career. This has given me the opportunity to learn and adapt to new developments in the profession of culinary arts through networking and knowledge sharing. It makes me immensely proud to have made some great friends for life, whom I could have not possibly met if not for the association and ofcourse getting Doctorate from the hands of Dr. Abdul Kalam
Is there anything you would not eat or try?
Probably the meat , not cooked.
ABOUT Dr. Chef Soundararajan | Corporate Executive Chef |
Dr. Chef Soundararajan, General Secretary of Indian Federation of Culinary Associations and the Corporate Executive Chef of Mahindra holidays and Resorts India Ltd. No wonder, he serves as an advisor for several Hotel Management colleges in India. He is also holding along with Chef Sanjay Thakur, Guinness book of world records for creating a restaurant at the highest altitude of the earth
As the IFCA General Secretary, he has committed and dedicated himself to the cause of World Chefs. He has spearheaded the first WACS Certification Program and participated in the WACS Certification Pilot Program in India.
He conceptualized and successfully executed Mumbai’s most popular French and Italian restaurant “Al Fresco”. He was the Chef Culinaire for various occasions in churning out designer cuisine during the launch of Meher Castellino’s Fashion Kaleidoscope at Hotel Guestline, Mumbai, Miss India 1995- 96 and launch of the Verve magazine to name a few.
His long list of professional accomplishments include
– To represent India at the 31st World Culinary Congress, Dublin to get membership of WACS
– First Indian to present Indian cuisine at the prestigious Gourmet Epicenter, The Culinary Institute of America
– He is the first chef in India to be awarded the Honorary Doctorate for his efforts to bring glory and credit to the profession.
– Recipient of the National Award as the Best Chef of India from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India,
– Earned a Certificate in World Cuisine from the Culinary Institute of America
– Received the Prestigious Fellowship from the St. Nicholas University, Louisiana, USA
– Member of the World Chefs Global Education Committee – One of the 8 members in the Global Culinary education committee
– Honorary Member of the Chefs Guild of Lanka, Honorary Member of the Emirates Culinary Guild, Honorary Member of the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association
– Author of Book Essential Culinary guide accepted as the text book in leading institutions
– He is also the Professor Emeritus, Chef Mentor at Dr MGR Educational Institute University based at Chennai, India.
He is a great inspiration for several young chefs of India; as an honorary member of WACS will enable him to make immense contribution to culinary fraternity in India