Shyam Longani - Bombay Brasserie, Taj Cape Town.
Born in Delhi, Shyam Longani attributes his passion for creating fine cuisine from his North Indian Punjabi family who, as a community, are renowned for cooking and feasting like royals. This ethos is revealed in a famous Punjabi saying stemming from the early Mongol invasions; it’s only what you eat and drink that will stay with you, the rest will be looted by the invader.
Shyam’ s induction into the art of cooking started at an early age and as a teenager he was already confidently experimenting with flavours in the feasts he cooked for family and friends. Spurred on by his love for cooking and the encouragement from his family Shyam embarked on a career path that has seen him work in a number of the top establishments around the world.
His formal education culminated with a BSc in Hospitality and Hotel Administration, while he honed kitchen skills with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces under the mentorship of the world renowned chef, Hemant Oberoi .
During his tenure as Sous Chef at Masala Craft, Shyam played an instrumental role in developing the Taj’s four contemporary Indian Masala restaurants with their exciting blend of traditional Indian flavours and modern cooking techniques.
Shyam headed up the kitchen at the celebrated Zodiac Grill in Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace. This restaurant has won a litany of international awards and is widely considered as India’s best fine dining European restaurant for the last twenty years.
After representing India in their Culinary Olympic team, Shyam went on to play a key role in re-launching the renowned Bombay Brasserie in London. He arrived in South Africa to launch Taj Cape Town’s Bombay Brasserie in 2009 where his efforts have been justly rewarded by winning the American Express award for the Best Fine Dining Indian Restaurant for the past two years.
Shyam believes that a good chef needs to enjoy eating as much as cooking in order to for them to fully appreciate the subtle flavours and respect the simplicity and origin of the ingredients. Considering the perfect meal, Shyam is torn between a Lamb Rogan josh curry and hot paranthas with family and friends, or a simple hot cheese fondue with crusty fresh bread shared with his wife in the Alps on a chilly Swiss evening.
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