Bio: Chef Soundararajan … Born into a family culture of agriculture, food ingredients and culinary art makes him unique. Professional Qualifications… Dr.Chef Soundararajan has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Vels University by the former President of India, Dr. A P J. Abdul Kalam. He holds Bachelor Degrees in Science, and Catering and Hotel Management; he has been certified in World Cuisine from the Culinary Institute of America; Completed a fellowship program at the St Nicholas University, Louisiana; certified by the World Association of Chefs (WACs); Certified by Training House, USA as a “Catalytic Instructor” He is the recipient of the Golden Star Award in 2008 issued by the South India Culinary Association. This award also marked his service to the Food & Beverage industry for twenty five years. He was awarded the ‘Best Chef of India’ in 2008, by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India for his contribution to the culinary fraternity in his career which spanned three decades. Experience…32 years of professional experience as a chef. Commencing his career with The Ashok, a part of the Taj Group of Hotels, he trained under the renowned French Chef Roger Moncourt and was assigned to catering for the prestigious Asian Games for close to six thousand athletes every day. His first major success was being appointed as the “Chef” in charge at the Official State House of the Prime Minister in New Delhi. This important position saw him cater for all state banquets hosted by the Prime Minister and the Vice President of India. He formed part of the team that offered hospitality to the first meeting of the Non - Aligned Summit 1983 and CHOGM. His skills were appreciated by more than 40 heads of State, including Nelson Mandela, K P. Bhattarai and Maumoon Gayoom, winning him several accolades. Seeing the opportunity to expand his culinary skills, Soundararajan joined the Ashok Kovalam Hotel at Thiruvananthapuram and trained in royal cuisine from some of the best Masterchefs of the Travancore Kingdom. His stint there saw many a delightful beach food carnivals. In 1984, he worked as a chef at Kanishka Hotel and gained tremendous knowledge and experience working with Chef J M. Chaudhuri. Soundararajan was instrumental in the detailed planning and opening of the hotel’s first salad bar and also subsequently organized an array of food festivals, Burger festival, Biryani festival, Bengali Utsav, Mango Festival etc to name a few. He received an invitation to work on board the world’s No.1 Luxury Liner Queen Elizabeth II. Apart from planning, preparing and serving more than forty Indian menus, Soundararajan had the opportunity to train International chefs in Indian cuisine and to learn various aspects of European cuisine from them. Soundararajan is currently Corporate Executive Chef at Club Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, India’s leading lifetime holiday company with 30 resorts across the country. He has held this position since 1997. His responsibilities include monitoring of overall F&B operations, compiling and implementing standard operating procedures, commissioning of new restaurants and setting up standard recipes along with menu engineering across resorts. Awards ……. He won a Certificate of Appreciation from the International Salon Culinaire on board the QE 2. Received the Golden Hat award from the South India Culinary Association for two decades of continuous contribution to professional associations. He is the only recipient of Golden Star Chef Award for promoting the profession and organising several culinary shows. Soundararajan has received an Award from WACS for his contribution to global cuisine. He has been awarded India’s National Award for “Best Chef of India 2009” for his contribution to the profession and to culinary art, besides winning several awards in various culinary competitions. Accomplishments…. Established the First Food Production Committee and the culinary festival “Catefete” in IHM, which was aptly captioned ‘A new tradition is born’. Opened India’s best French Restaurant ‘Burgundy’. Has been a member of the jury for several culinary contests in India and abroad, including International Culinary Challenge, Sri Lanka, FHA Salon Culinaire at Singapore, Chef Contest of the National Council, Nestle Young Chef of the Year Contest, Chief Jury at the IFCA culinary challenge. In 1998 he founded the South India Culinary Association,(SICA) a voluntary, professional and a non profitable organization and is currently serving as the President mentor of SICA. In 2003 he was instrumental in founding the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations ( IFCA) and he is serving as the General Secretary of IFCA. He is also a member of WACS Educational committee. Featured in several cookery shows on television, including Sunday Samayal” and a cookery show on Kongu Nadu cuisine in the Good Food Guide of the Star Plus Channel. Authored the book “Essential culinary Guide” exclusively for professional chefs whichhas been accepted as a reference book for aspiring chefs.. One of his most notable achievements during this time was the introduction of waste management such as composting, herb/kitchen gardening and use of recyclable materials at Hotel Guest Line, Mumbai. This initiative was awarded the ‘American Express Hotel’ in 1993. He conceptualized and successfully started Mumbai’s most popular French and Italian restaurant ‘Al Fresco’. He also created designer cuisine for various high profile occasions such as the launch of Meher Castellino’s Fashion Kaleidoscope at Hotel Guestline Mumbai, Miss India 1995 – 96 and the launch of Verve Magazine. He presented Asian Ethnic cuisine at the Gourmet Epicenter, Culinary Institute of America, New York; key note speaker at the “Becoming a Chef” conference held at Chennai, and Bangalore. Presented on Culinary Tourism at the Conference of Public Relations Managers. In 1983 he participated in the catering for the World Tourism and World Energy Conferences. Made a presentation at the ‘Chef Means Business’ seminar at Le Royal Meridian, Chennai in association with Express Hotelier and Caterer for the Senior Chefs and entrepreneurs of South India. Was a panelist cum speaker on the “Indian Cuisine Trend” at the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) symposium. Invited to speak at the Golden Jubilee Annual Convention of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Associations of India (FHRAI) held at the Chennai Convention Center in Nandambakkam, Chennai. He has conducted over two hundred and fifty training programmes in various Hotel Management and Catering colleges in India. He was the jury member at the All India Level Chefs competition held during 2006-07 at the National Council IHM, Chennai. He has also organized several food presentation events and seminars in Catering colleges to commemorate International Chefs Day on October 20th, 2007. He was a panelist cum speaker on the Indian Cuisine Trend at the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) symposium. Pioneered “Chef Amudhupadai” – a concept in which gourmet meals were prepared and served with entertainment at the premises of more than 20 schools numbering around 10,000 children with the sole mission of enriching the lives of children. This unique event was supported by the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA) - Southern Region Initiated and conducted over Fifty Indian cuisine festivals, some of which which traced vanishing cuisines such as  Baduga cuisine from the Nilgiris  Kumaon cuisine from Kumaon region  Kongunadu cuisine from the Coimbatore region Launched Junior Chefs Forum in Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore to encourage students in which from 100 colleges participated. Professional Associations.... • Joined the Indian Culinary Forum in 1986 • In the year 2000, played a significant role in forming the South India Culinary Association encompassing the Southern states of India. • The Founder and General Secretary of the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations, instrumental in uniting 10,000 chefs • Represented the WACS Congress, Asia Pacific Forum, held after IFCA became a member of WACS. • Served as a Member of the WACS Education Committee during 2008 -10 and implemented the WACS Certification P and Train The Trainer Programs. • Conceptualised and organised more than 60 Charity events over the last 10 years show casing the profession to 3 million people. • Visited more than 70 culinary and hotel management colleges conducting various programs to attract the students to the culinary profession. • Conceptualised and executed all 10 Regional and National Culinary congresses held during the last decade. • Conceptualized and executed 12 Regional and National IFCA culinary challenges. Helped in framing the rules and regulations. • Has coordinated and conducted 2 WACS judging seminars, 3 WACS Train the Trainer Programs at Turkey and Mauritius and 2 Hygiene certification programs. PHILANTHROPHIC CONTRIBUTIONS While remaining committed to his craft, education and mentoring, Chef Soundararajan has always tried to nurture talent from the lesser privileged communities and many a young chef has found opportunities in the industry under his able guidance. He also supports a bakery school in Alwarpet, run by the Chennai Corporation, Hot Breads and Rotary Club for underprivileged.

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