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NEW YORK - [October 7, 2014] - Executive Chef Ashfer Biju is now wearing two toques at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York, adding the additional role of Food & Beverage Director to his existing position as Executive Chef for the classic 189-room hotel on Central Park. Now responsible for all culinary and beverage operations at the iconic hotel, Chef Ashfer is a talented man on a two-fold mission: to deliver inventive, seasonal, sustainable options that delight a diverse array of discerning palates from around the world, and ensure that all food and beverage practices and ingredients are of the highest quality. All of this, while also overseeing all restaurant, banquet and in-room dining service staff, and directing a culinary team of 50 cooks and seven sous chefs that perform daily afternoon creative sessions devoted to testing and tasting new concepts. 

"We are pleased to recognize the leadership and insights that Chef Ashfer has demonstrated during his nearly three-year tenure with us at The Pierre by also naming him as our Food & Beverage Director.  The timing couldn't be better, as we've just been awarded the prestigious AAA Five Diamond award for the sixth consecutive year. Under Chef's skillful direction, I know he and his colleagues will ensure that all guest dining and entertaining experiences at The Pierre shine in keeping with our impressive accolades," said Heiko Kuenstle, General Manager. 

Biju will continue to curate seasonal menus for Two E, the hotel's contemporary bar/lounge, with a focus on sharing plates which complement Two E's exquisite cocktail menu. He will also further develop new dining concepts in the same vein as the much lauded monthly Chef's Social Club, where in tandem with Executive Pastry Chef Michael Mignano, an intimate dining 'Club' of 10 guests are presented with multiple-course tasting plates while seated at a communal table. Similarly, Chef Ashfer continues to provide customized in-suite dining experiences for hotel guests in each of its 11 Grand Suites, where royal feasts for special milestone celebrations and one-of-a kind banquets are implemented seamlessly. 

Another focus area for Chef Ashfer is to maintain The Pierre's enticing 24-hour in-room dining, available to guests in each of its 189 rooms and suites. This exceptional 21-page menu offers international cuisine (US, Japanese, Indian, Middle Eastern and Latin American), combining global flavors and national specialties as well as gourmet picnic baskets, a pet menu, wellness menu, mini-degustation menu and a pint-sized menu for toddlers and infants. 

The Pierre is synonymous with elegant and personalized celebrations of all kinds, ranging from exquisite weddings and corporate meetings, to product launches and fashion shows for up to 800 guests. Chef Ashfer's culinary expertise with events of this caliber ensure the hotel is bustling with events year-round. If that weren't enough, Chef Ashfer will now oversee the hotel's independent modern Italian restaurant, Sirio Ristorante, where contemporary interpretations of traditional Italian dishes are inspired by the Tuscan standards of Sirio Maccioni's youth, created by Chef Massimo Bebber. 

Celebrated for his innovative use of the freshest seasonal and regional ingredients during more than 12 years with luxury Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces around the world, 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 fresh 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. Chef Ashfer honors his heritage and his mother specifically by showcasing her Malabar Prawn Curry on his in-room dining menus. He joined The Pierre as Executive Chef in early 2012. 

About The Pierre

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York, comprised of 189 rooms, 49 of which are suites, continues to set the standard for elegant, unrivaled hospitality in New York City. Its superb location on Fifth Avenue steps from Central Park, with its proximity to both haute couture boutiques and Manhattan's famed Museum Mile, make it a much coveted Upper East Side location. An exclusive Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond property and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, The Pierre has also been named one of Condé Nast Traveler's "Top 25 Hotels in New York City 2014" and among the "Top Large City Hotels in the United States by Travel + Leisure's 2014 World's Best Awards".  Managed by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, The Pierre offers artful and highly personalized service, exemplified by white-gloved elevator attendants, the private Taj Royal Attachés that care for its 11 Grand Suites who treat guests as royalty, and the convenience of a complimentary Jaguar house car. The iconic Grand Ballroom, Cotillion Room and the Rotunda regularly host society weddings and events, while elegant multi functional meeting rooms offer over 11,000 square feet of space on the 4th floor; a total of 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space.  Spacious bathrooms offer floor to ceiling glass wall showers with oversized shower heads, marble-clad soaking tubs and Molton Brown amenities. Dining options include a 24-hour gourmet room service menu; afternoon tea and light bites at Two E Bar/Lounge; and Sirio Ristorante, New York, the namesake from celebrated Le Cirque restaurateur, Sirio Maccioni, featuring seasonal contemporary Italian cuisine and fine wines. Sirio takes center stage daily with power breakfasts, convivial lunches, casually elegant evenings and quarterly Wine Social Dinners. Evenings at Two E Bar/Lounge feature distinctive cocktails stirred to perfection by master mixologists and sharing plates; live music with LIVE @Two E each Tuesdays, Mixology cocktail crafting sessions every Wednesday, and a monthly Chef's Social Club dinner featuring intimate single table seating for just 10 diners waited upon by Chef Ashfer Biju and Chef Michael Mignano. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook. 

About Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

Established in 1901, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 105 hotels in 56 locations across India with an additional 17 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.  From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand Palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury.  For over a century the iconic flagship hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, has set a benchmark for fine living with exquisite refinement, inventiveness and warmth.  Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house. 

Contact: For Media - Michele Lee / 571.451.9713

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