Chef Gill was the first Indian bestowed with the exclusive honorary membership of WorldChef. He has had the privilege of serving former American President Barack Obama and Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Chef Manjit Gill is a culinary professional par excellence. Reputed for his constant innovation in the world of gastronomy, he is a name to reckon with in the national and global hospitality and culinary industry. As the Corporate Chef of ITC, his knowledge and experience comes from over four decades of work in pioneering world-class restaurants curating traditional Indian food, Gill during his tenure at ITC has been responsible for creating iconic brands such as Bukhara – the north-west frontier tandoori cuisine, Dum Pukht – a grand cuisine from Avadh, Dakshin – the specialized cuisine of the four southern states of India, Kabab & Kurry – the best of pan-Indian kebabs and curry dishes, and the most recent Royal Vega – ‘honestly’ vegetarian cuisine based on the philosophy, principles and guidelines of Indian gastronomy (Ayurveda) served in royal style.
From designing the menu to curating the carefully selected Indian fare for world leaders, Gill has had the privilege of serving former American Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George Bush, and the French, Canadian, British and German premiers among many. In 1992, Chef Gill had the unforgettable opportunity of being invited to cook for Prince Charles and Lady Diana, at the Palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur.
Chef Gill was the first Indian bestowed with the exclusive honorary membership of WorldChefs. He has recently been appointed the Chairman of the WorldChefs Committee on Cultural Heritage and Ethnic Cuisine. He has authored books titled Eating Wisely & Well, Indian Spa Cuisine and Fire/Water/Earth/Air/Ether – Secrets of Indian Gastronomy.
Drawing appreciation for his vast body of work as a chef, in 2007, the Indian Ministry of Tourism decorated Chef Gill with the highest honour in the hospitality profession – The Lifetime Achievement Award – a first for a chef in India. He was awarded the Escoffier Medal in 2019 by the WorldChefs – World Associations of Chefs Societies an award given to honour the commitment to the profile and high standards of the culinary arts and hospitality.
Through charitable activities, Chef Gill has sought to give back to society and has inspired others to do so. He initiated the charity concept Chef & Child – to generate money for Child Welfare which has become a national event that is emulated all over the country. Gill is also on the board of Feeding India, an organization that campaigns and organizes events to alleviate hunger in the country.
With his relentless efforts for the last couple of decades, Chef Gill has brought pride on their own food to Indians – both among professionals and society-at-large. The chef’s endeavor is to bring recognition to the Indian philosophy of food which is evolved on two pillars – wellness and sustainability – and to establish India as a culinary superpower with its vast ancient knowledge guidelines on healthy cuisine. In view of his philosophy, it is Chef Gill’s mission to teach the art of culinary as a way of giving back to society, and to create and mentor Chefs for the country – to make India the food destination of the world with various regional hubs.
Being a constant innovator Chef Gill is creating themed dinners and pop-ups which are some new things to look at in the future. He is working to bring to reality diverse concepts on Indian cuisine with bold flavors as a brand pan-India in fine dining to casual grills and quick service.
Photos: Courtesy of Chef Manjit Gill, Ritik Sharma Photography