Meet my fellow Judge and dear friend: Chef Ajay Chopra, Executive Chef, The Westin Mumbai Garden City. Shooting with him everyday is a pleasure and a delight. His passion for life and food is a pure joy. I always tell him that if he ever hosts a cooking show, he should call it "Ajay of Cooking" and spell it as "A-joy of cooking". I had the great pleasure of enjoying his hospitality and cooking at the Westin Hotel for a wonderful tasting menu he did for the Nawab of Lucknow.
Having worked in London and had a great exposure to the International restaurant scene, Ajay brings a refreshing approach to Indian food culture. I wish him the best for being a-joy or ajay.
At the Westin Mumbai, he is responsible for the food and beverage operations of the hotel which includes" Prego" the finest Italian restaurant in Mumbai , "Kangan" which is acclaimed for its breath taking north west frontier food, and "Seasonal Taste" the 24 hour multi cuisine restaurant and a huge banquetting operations.
At the Westin Ajay's food phenomenon is all about relating food to the new world. With contemporary menus and his love for progressive food he has already made a mark in the food capital of India , "Mumbai".
Ajay humbly began his career with the Cecil Oberoi in Shimla and later went on to complete the finest culinary and management training program at the Oberoi Center for Learning and Development (OCLD) and emerged a gold medalist.
His first assignment as a chef was at Kandahar, the Indian specialty restaurant at the Oberoi New Delhi, where he gave an edge to the Indian cuisine served and savoured by the Delhi Palette. Ajay was also responsible for the hotel’s large banqueting operations as well as the coffee shop.
After his stint in Delhi ,Ajay moved to the J.W Marriott in Mumbai as the chef de cuisine of Lotus Cafe, the busiest and the largest coffee shop of Mumbai. Ajay then headed to Saffron at the JW as the chef de cuisine which is a hub of "A" listed bollywood celebrity bellies like Amitabh ji , Akshay kumar, Ajay Devgan, Saif ali khan and many more. After about a ten year stint in India, Ajay decided to venture west and reached London.
In London, Ajay was the Executive Head Chef of the acclaimed Mint Leaf chain of restaurants, which is a benchmark in Modern and sophisticated Indian Dining . During his tenure in London Ajay took Mint Leaf to new culinary heights in Indian cuisine. Mint Leaf has over the last 7 years enjoyed critical acclaim for its ability to re interpret classic Indian dishes in a contemporary fashion. During his culinary trail in the United Kingdom, Ajay was voted one of the eight best Indian chefs of London . At his stint at Mayfair he has brushed shoulders with the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Angela Harnet.
Ajay is an outgoing and fun loving person; he loves to meet new people. He is greatly committed to taking Indian cuisine into the progressive domain and constantly experiments with new ingredients and flavors. His repertoire of food and his attitude are his strengths.