Cheer the Chefs

Twice Michelin Star Chef: Atul Kochhar

Chef Atul Kochhar (2)

The biggest achievement for any one comes when their work is recognised and appreciated and it is a dream come true if one earns highly prestigious awards in their own respective fields.  Michelin Star is one such award which most of the great chefs & restaurants look forward to. We are very proud to present today one such great Chef.

Meet Atul Kochhar, One of the First Indian Chefs to earn the highly prestigious Michelin Star, he is  decorated with two Michelin Stars till date, a perfect Restaurateur, Television personality, Author of several famous cook books, Consultant Chef to one of the luxurious Lifestyle brand Mark & Spencer apart from being a true philanthropist & a humanitarian.

Atul Kochhar  (2)

Atul was born in Jamshedpur, India. He started his career in year 1993 at the reputable Oberoi Hotel group. His work & kitchen management skills were appreciated so much that he got a chance to move to Hilton’s Chef Bernard Kunig’s restaurant in 1994. Later that year he moved to London to open the Tamarind restaurant. It was during his tenure here at Tamarind, as Head Chef Atul’s culinary expertise & excellence was truly rewarded, as he became the first ever Indian Chef to earn the coveted Michelin Star in year 2001. Winning this highly prestigious award put his name in the list of the Greats of the culinary world forever.

In year 2003, Atul was ready to venture out on his own and started Benares Restaurant & Bar in London which has been a highly sought after upscale fine dining restaurant since its opening. Keeping in mind his heritage, this master chef perfectly combined the Indian cuisine flavours with British ingredients and brought forward an innovative modern Indian cuisine to Britain which became his strength & made people appreciate Indian food globally. For his fabulous work at Benares, Atul became the proud recipient of the second Michelin Star in year 2007, which he has carried till date.

“Kochhar is not only one of the pioneers of high-end Indian food… but he’s also the grandmaster of spice, more magician than mere cook… He does things to the taste buds that make them blush with lusty delight” – Tom Parker Bowles for the Mail on Sunday, Live magazine

After the enormous success of Benares Restaurant & Bar, Atul ventured into various other landmark projects like Ananda (Ireland), teamed up with Jitinder Singh for Indian Essence at Kent, Sindhu at Buckinghamshire, Rang Mahal placed in JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Sindhu aboard the P&O cruise liner Azura and East aboard the P&O cruise liner Ventura.

With his incredible talent & culinary skills, Atul won many more awards & accolades like Restaurant Personality of the Year 2001 – BIBA Real Curry Guide, Outstanding Contribution to the Curry Industry 2005 at the British Curry Awards – Benares and Seven Q Awards for outstanding quality – M&S Indian range.

Atul is a very well-known Celebrity Chef and he features & makes numerous television appearances like on Saturday Kitchen BBC One,  Market Kitchen,  Masterchef Goes Large,  Masterchef the Professionals BBC Two, Great British Menu and Sunday Brunch Channel 4.

Apart from this, Atul happens to be a highly successful author of some famous cook books like Indian Essence (published 2004) and Fish, Indian Style (published 2008) and Atul’s Curries of the World (published 2013). 

PicMonkey Collage AK books

Atul Kochhar’s selfless dedication and passion for his work got him an invitation to meet with Her Majesty, The Queen of Britain & got him the opportunity to cook for Prince Charles at St. James’ palace. Apart from being an incredible chef, his humanitarian side & philanthropist nature got him the chance to work with the prince’s trust and also to become the ambassador to the British Asian Trust.

Knowing Atul’s fame & numerous accolades, it was really one of the great moments when he started his restaurant in Mumbai, India by the name “Not really Indian” NRI: The Space, The Street Hawker. This restaurant reflects the menu with recipes which the Indian diaspora took with them to Britain, it will now just be other way round as Atul’s NRI will serve dishes common with Indian’s settled across Britain but they will now be using Indian ingredients instead of British ingredients.The décor & settings of NRI @ Mumbai are different than his other restaurants but it is indeed a very comforting ambience with a feel of colonial nostalgia with seating arrangements like a railway station from 1920’s, a chic Thela & Victorian lamp posts.PicMonkey Collage NRI new

It is truly a very nice concept and we can now enjoy Atul’s creations in India too.  One of the main attractions for NRI cuisine will be, that Atul has used his own produce which will support his idea of using local, seasonal & sustainable produce. For doing this, he is working with a local horticulturist. This restaurant will also be serving some of Atul’s signature dishes which earned him Michelin Stars.

To enjoy Chef Atul’s signature touch dishes, it is a must to either visit any of his restaurants spread over various locations or you can just hop into NRI, at Mumbai. I hope that Atul will soon launch his restaurants in other cities of India too.

Ever famous Chef Atul Kochhar’s success mantra has been simple cooking and bringing together the British & Indian cuisine, flavours & ingredients together. His success story is very inspiring for the upcoming chefs who dream of being in this place too but he has achieved his glory & fame with his sheer passion, great culinary skills, his utmost dedication & hard work. This great master chef will be an inspiring personality always to one & all. Cheers Chef Atul Kochhar!


Post by: Parul Khanna / Appy Bistro

Picture Courtesy: Atul Kochhar


NRI address : NRI – Not Really Indian, Maker Maxity, North Avenue 2, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East , Mumbai 51 , Phone: 022 3000 5040


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