News for the Hospitality Executive
Ashfer Biju Appointed as Executive Chef at The Pierre, A Taj
NEW YORK, NY (July 18, 2012) - Ashfer Biju is the Executive Chef at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel on New York’s Central Park. Responsible for all culinary operations at the classic hotel, Chef Biju is a talented man on a mission: to deliver inventive, seasonal, sustainable options that delight a diverse array of discerning palates from around the world. He directs a culinary team of 50 cooks and seven sous chefs, and puts daily afternoon creative sessions devoted to testing and tasting new concepts under development to great use.
He creates seasonal menus for Two E, the hotel’s contemporary bar/lounge, with careful thought to dishes that complement the exciting cocktail menu and can be easily shared. He’s mixing comfort foods with global flavors to ensure enticing 24-hour in-room dining choices for 189 rooms and suites. He’s introduced updated menus to inspire highly personalized celebrations of all kinds, from gala weddings to corporate meetings and product launches, in the elegant Grand Ballroom and five other event spaces for groups of up to 800.
Celebrated for his innovative use of the freshest seasonal and regional ingredients, Chef Biju began cooking at age 16. He was raised in a family of restaurateurs near the pristine backwaters of Kerala, India, and grew up with a passion for fish and seafood. Today he is known for adding modern touches to traditional French, Mediterranean, Asian and Indian cuisines in a personal style influenced by his rigorous culinary training and extensive world travels. He also honors his mother by showcasing her Malabar Prawn Curry on his menus.
In 2009, Chef Biju spent eight months as Executive Sous Chef at The Pierre, helping to re-open the property after its $100 million renovation. He gained great familiarity with the hotel’s clientele and their preferences, and began to initiate new culinary experiences. These culinary discoveries for guests continue today. Chef Biju is adding fresh and inventive selections from around the globe that demonstrate deep understanding of foods from Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East. He is also introducing a new in-room wellness menu that features healthy, delicious, low calorie meals that incorporate ingredients with healing properties, a first step in a broader approach to wellness that he will develop over time.
Chef Biju has spent more than a decade been with Taj Hotels more than a decade, charged with creating memorable culinary concepts for new and re-opened luxury properties worldwide. He left his re-opening stint at The Pierre in late 2009 to become Executive Chef at Taj Falakanuma Palace in Hyderabad, India, the Nizam’s exquisite guest house turned luxury boutique hotel that opened in late 2010, where he created custom private dining and celebratory royal banquet experiences. He left Hyderabad to return to The Pierre in early 2012.
Previously in his Taj career, he was Executive Chef at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in Mauritius (now an independent resort). In 2002 in his first role with Taj Hotels, he rose from Sous Chef to Executive Chef at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives, another island nation in the Indian Ocean. He re-opened this Taj luxury resort flagship to great acclaim following the 2004 tsunami.
After graduating with a hospitality degree in India, he joined a Chef’s Training Program with the Oberoi Group that included culinary postings in Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Cochin. Following training with notable chefs in London and Switzerland, Chef Biju refined his skills at the Culinary Institute of America’s Napa Valley Greystone Campus.
When not cooking, expanding his knowledge of regional Indian dishes, medicinal cooking and Ayurveda, or adding to his cookbook collection, Chef Biju enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his family.
About The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York
After 80 years, Pierre, A Taj Hotel continues to set the standard for elegance and unrivaled hospitality for a New York luxury hotel. Located on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, Pierre, A Taj Hotel is an exclusive AAA Five Diamond property and a member of Leading Hotels of the World. Managed by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, the iconic hotel underwent a $100 million renovation, updating 189 guestrooms, including 38 suites and 11 grand suites, as well as the hotel’s banquet and social event spaces. Two E Bar/Lounge offers light fare, afternoon tea and a stylish bar featuring a no-cover jazz series every Tuesday evening. This fall, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel will welcome Sirio Ristorante New York, the eponymous restaurant from famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque fame. To reserve, please call 1.800.743.7734 or visit www.tajhotels.com/thepierre/.
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