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Chef Soundararajan

Born in 1959, Chef Soundarajan was the 7th child of his parents, in Udumelpet in South India. To him, becoming a chef was an accident but he always believed in the philosophy, which his mother taught – “Cook with the heart but not with the hands”. Belonging to a family of merchants, he was persuaded to become a chef by his uncle Subramaniam, who sponsored him to for his education to become a successful catering professional. It was during his course in IHM that he decided that culinary management would best him and worked to his aptitude. During his college days, he won several awards in the culinary contests and he was even instrumental in starting a new tradition in forming the First Food Production Committee and organized “Catefete” – a culinary festival captioning ‘A new tradition is born’. Being a rank holder of IHM, he started his career as a Chef Trainee with the Taj Group of Hotels. Attracted by the renowned French Chef Roger Moncourt, he switched over to Ashok Hotel, New Delhi in 1982 as Kitchen Management Trainee. His first ever assignment was at the Asian Games Catering, which catered over 6000 athletes a day. He was also part of the successful catering team that catered the first ever-prestigious Non - Aligned meet and CHOGM, churning out World cuisine for the International delegates. He was trained under the most renowned French Chef Roger Moncourt, who introduced him to the classical French cuisine at the Ashok Hotel, New Delhi. Chef Soundararajan was part of the team, which opened the best French restaurants in India, "Burgundy". Later, he joined the Kovalam Ashok, Trivandrum, where he organised the Beach Food Carnival and in turn learned the culinary mystiques of South India from the Master Chefs of Travancore Kingdom. In 1984, he moved as a chef to the Kanishka Hotel, New Delhi and worked under the most respected Chef J M Chaudhuri, a Chef Administrator of par excellence. Chef Soundararajan learned the nuances of culinary management from him. It was at Kanishka hotel New Delhi that he organised colourful theme parties such as Burger Festival, Biryani Festival, Bengali Utsav, Mango Festival, and Sizzler Festival. He was the main person behind the launch of the first SALAD BAR in the hotel. In 1988, he was invited on Board the World's No.1 Luxury Liner Queen Elizabeth II. During this voyage, he had the privilege in serving 40 different Indian menus to its elite passengers from various regions of the globe. While he trained the international chefs on Indian cuisine, he also learnt the art and management of various European cuisines from the leading Chefs of QE II. Being a dynamic person himself, he got one of the most crucial breaks of his career i.e., as "Chef " in charge at the renowned Hyderabad house at New Delhi - Official State House of the Prime Minister, where he had to cater to all the State banquets hosted by the Prime Minister and Vice-President of India for International Delegates and Dignitaries. Many famous personalities including, Nelson Mandela, K P Bhattarai, Maumoon Gayoom and a host of other foreign dignitaries praised his culinary skill. He is an active founder-member of the Indian Culinary Federation, which was founded in the late 1980's at New Delhi under the dynamic leadership of Chef Manjit Singh Gill. In 1992, that he was appointed as the Corporate Chef at the Guest Line Days Hotels and Resorts and it was here that he nurtured and brought about variations in the operations and developed a new systems operating procedure for the chain. It was he who innovated a new cuisine called the Kongu Nadu cuisine. He was pioneer in introducing the concept of waste management such as composting, Herb / kitchen garden, use of recyclable materials at Guest Line, leading the hotel of being awarded " American Express Hotel" in 1993. Chef Soundararajan had conceptualixed and successfully executed the Mumbai’s most popular French and Italian restaurant ‘Al Fresco’. He was the Chef Culinaire for various occasions in churning out designer cuisine during the launch of Meher Castellino's Fashion Kaleidoscope at Hotel Guestline, Mumbai, Miss India 1995- 96 and launch of the Verve magazine to name a few. In December 1997, he joined Mahindra Holidays and Resorts as its Corporate Executive Chef and is continuing till date. He initiated the idea of forming the South India Culinary Association, a professional body for the culinary professionals to exchange culinary notes and also to bring a closer bond between the culinary professionals and is also the General Secretary of the South India Culinary Association He was then shifted to Mahindra Holidays and Resorts as its Corporate Executive Chef in December 1997. In 1998, he played a vital role in forming the South India Culinary Association, a professional body for the culinary professionals to exchange culinary notes and to bring a closer bond between the culinary professionals. He is the founder General Secretary of the South India Culinary Association. Working with various hotel and resort units from the inception, he is involved in carrying out various F&B project related activities such as the F&B concept development, execution, Kitchen planning & designing and pre - opening. Presently as the Corporate Executive Chef of Club Mahindra, Chef Soundararajan is involved in the overall F & B planning, execution and overseeing the F&B operations for the Group having world-class resorts in various locations in India. He has the credit of setting up its F&B operations across the chain Awards and Accolades Won a CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION and a memento for the exotic food presentation in the International Salon Culinaire on Board the Luxury Liner " QUEEN ELIZABETH II " Won a SILVER MEDAL for the Restaurant Contest in the National Culinary Contest 1990 held at New Delhi. Won a SILVER MEDAL for the European Cold food exhibit in the National Culinary Contest 1990 held at New Delhi. Won a SILVER MEDAL for the hot food exhibit in the National Culinary Contest 1990 held at New Delhi. Received a memento from the Chief of the naval staff for exhibiting a practical demonstration on the Healthy salads at the Naval Head Quarters, New Delhi. He has also received personal written accolades from leading personalities including Head of the states, Industrialists and food writers. He has been featured in National News Dailies and Magazines. He has also done a Cookery show on the Kongu Nadu cuisine in the Good Food Guide of the Star Plus Channel He was also a member of Jury team for the several culinary contests including the Chef Contest of the National council, Nestle Young Chef of the Year contest held at Mumbai. He was also a member of the Expert committee for setting up dietic systems at the Super specialty hospital in Tirupathi and setting up the catering arrangements for the Mahindra United World College at Pune Training classes on Indian cuisine for the Mauritian staff. In - house training programs for the Chefs/ trainees with ITDC. Kitchen Management training Program at Guest line and Mahindra holidays Several cookery demonstrations for the people of Bangalore and Tirupathi. "Food Presentation Techniques" for the chefs of Delhi based hotels. Training classes on "Food production and service in formal Banquets". "Salad for health" - Culinary demonstration at the Naval Head Quarters, New Delhi Cold Food display at the Food Craft Institute, New Delhi. Conducted workshop on the "CULINARY DESIGN" at Merit Inn, Madras. Quiz Master for the "Gourmet ?Quiz" conducted every year in various catering Institutes "Modern Culinary Art" - Workshop at Merit Swiss, Ooty Interactive session of Stocks, Sauces and Soups" "Menu Management" for Chefs and F&B managers. Though Chef Soundararajan has successfully conducted innumerable training Programs, some of his most popular and successful Culinary Training Programs are Indian food display and cookery demonstration on board QE II.

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Chef Soundararajan's Background

Chef Soundararajan's Education

Chef John Folse Culinary Institue at State Nocholls University, Louisiana, USA

2009 – 2009

Fellowship in Southern US Cuisine

WACS Education

2006 – 2007



IHM, Chennai

1979 – 1982


Concentration: Hotel and Catering Managment

Madras University

1976 – 1979


Concentration: Maths, Physics, Mathematical statistics

Government High school

1969 – 1975


Concentration: Maths

Culinary Institute of America, New York, USA

Certificate in World Cuisine

Concentration: World cuisine comprising of 32 cuisines

Vels University

Honarary Doctorate

Concentration: Hospitality Administration/Management

Vels University, Chennai, India

Honorary Doctorate

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