Atul Kochhar’s unique talent as a twice Michelin-starred chef has changed the way people perceive and experience Indian cuisine.
Taking inspiration from his native India, where he was born in Jamshedpur in East Singhbhum, Atul continues to research and promote regional dishes, applying modern techniques to traditional Indian food and ingredients. He manages to combine his heritage with his love of provincial cuisine to create innovative modern food.
As the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, accomplished during his tenure as Head Chef at Tamarind in 2001, Atul opened the highly acclaimed Benares Restaurant & Bar, which won him his second star in 2007.
The appetite for Atul’s unique understanding of Indian flavours in modern food has since reached global heights and he has opened numerous award-winning restaurants, including Sindhu at The Macdonald Compleat Angler in Marlow and Sindhu’s unique collaboration on board P&O cruises; Indian Essence, a neighbourhood restaurant in Kent; and his latest UK restaurant, Hawkyns at The Crown, in Amersham which champions British Cuisine with an Indian accent.
Atul’s portfolio spans the globe and includes a second Benares restaurant in Madrid and the Rang Mahal restaurant at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. Recently, he has turned his attention back to India, launching NRI and LIMA, both in Mumbai.
In addition to his restaurant portfolio, Atul has written numerous cookbooks, such as Indian Essence: The Fresh Tastes of India's New Cuisine (2004), Fish, Indian Style (2008), Atul's Curries of the World (2013), Benares: Michelin Starred Cooking (2015) and 30 Minute Curries (2017).
Atul's recipes have featured in numerous international publications and he has become a regular face on food broadcasts, appearing on The Great British Menu, Saturday Kitchen, Market Kitchen, Yes Chef! and MasterChef and fronting his own TV shows, Curry On and Kochhar’s Spice Kitchen.
While continuing his work as a successful restaurateur and balancing his book and TV commitments, Atul’s work ethic and talent have not gone unnoticed, and he had the privilege of cooking for Prince Charles at St James’s Palace as well as being personally invited to meet HM The Queen during one of the President of India’s official visits.
Outside of the kitchen, Atul dedicates time to philanthropic endeavours and has worked with The Prince’s Trust as well as standing as an ambassador to The British Asian Trust and supporting other high impact charities in South Asia and the UK. He enjoys spending as much time as he can at home in London with his wife, Deepti, and their two young children. But, never one to stand still for too long, Atul is already planning for the future and in 2018 he is looking to open NRI in Birmingham, so expect to hear more about his exciting new projects very soon.
I would certainly say Pub in the Park is up there with one of best things I have ever done, the atmosphere and buzz over those 3 days was just electric and I felt so lucky to be a part of it all. All in all, we served around 4000 dishes over the 3 days, the most popular being the Mackerel Taco which sold out on each session, I couldn’t have asked for a better crowd though as they were all willing to try the other dishes we had to offer. One of my favourite moments had to be that I got to celebrate my birthday which was on the Sunday In such an incredible way, meeting a huge amount of kind and wonderful people as well as watching The Milk who are one of my favourite bands.
Wow - what an incredible, amazing weekend! The vibe was fantastic; the food was stunning, the music outstanding, but above all else, the people of Marlow made the whole event feel very special. It showed off our lovely town to all our visitors and the chefs from all over the country and did us proud.