Taj Cape Town welcomes executive chef Surendra Kumar with a focus on Sanskrit hospitality

Executive chef Surendra Kumar’s extensive background includes working at the flagship Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbia.

Executive chef Surendra Kumar’s extensive background includes working at the flagship Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbia.

Published Jan 30, 2024


Taj Cape Town proudly announces the appointment of Chef Surendra Kumar as its new Executive Chef.

With a culinary journey spanning more than two decades, and a wealth of international experience, Chef Surendra brings his passion for simplicity, tastefulness, and the timeless Sanskrit philosophy of "Atithi Devo Bhava", to the iconic Taj Cape Town.

Chef Surendra, who arrived in Cape Town last month, expressed his dedication to delivering simple, delicious, and timely food experiences. His extensive background includes working at the flagship Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, where he honed his skills as Executive Sous Chef in handling large banquets, conferences, weddings, and social events, serving up to 2500 guests per day with its twenty dining outlets.

Reflecting on Taj's cultural ethos, Chef Surendra highlighted the Sanskrit principle of "Atithi Devo Bhava," emphasising that guests are considered gods. He shared his belief in the importance of treating every guest with the same warmth and care, making sure they feel right at home and you are their kitchen, a sentiment ingrained in Indian culture and borne out by Taj hotels.

Having travelled and worked in diverse culinary landscapes such as Morrocco, Turkey, Dubai, Paris, Switzerland, and Mumbai, Chef Surendra has become an expert in international cuisines. His expertise spans Middle Eastern, French, Greek, Italian, Lebanese, and Indian cuisines, as well as Szechuan and even, those speciality high teas.

Now at Taj Cape Town as the Executive Chef, Chef Surendra oversees a team of 60 culinary professionals. He expressed his excitement about exploring the local market, understanding the unique preferences of Capetonians and Jo’burgers, and incorporating his expertise into the culinary offerings of the hotel.

Chef Surendra outlined his vision for Taj Cape Town, including innovative dining experiences such as new menu options at Bombay Brasserie, a Tapas menu at the Lobby bar, and a unique dining option featuring the popular South African bread, Rooster Koek, in the Mint Restaurant and Terrace.

Beyond enhancing the in-house culinary experiences, Chef Surendra has ambitious plans to elevate the overall dining experience for the hotel's guests. He aims to introduce outdoor cooking and catering services for special events, such as weddings, milestone birthdays, and anniversaries, drawing on his extensive experience, which includes catering for some of the world's most prominent business figures. Undoubtedly, Chef Surendra brings a seasoned expertise to Taj Cape Town, ensuring a heightened level of culinary sophistication for both everyday dining and special occasions.

In the realm of Asian cuisine, Chef Surendra revealed plans to elevate the dining experience with Sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls. He also aims to diversify the Mint menu with a new pizza oven, offering a fusion of Italian and local flavours. High teas will be revisited to provide guests with an elegant and indulgent experience that naturally compliments a spa wellness experience for outside guests frequenting the hotel.

Chef Surendra’s culinary expertise and commitment to creating memorable dining experiences align seamlessly with Taj Cape Town's reputation for luxury and hospitality. The hotel eagerly anticipates the positive impact Chef Surendra will bring to its culinary offerings and guest satisfaction.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chef Surendra to the Taj Cape Town family. His culinary expertise and unwavering commitment to crafting unforgettable dining experiences perfectly align with our renowned reputation for exceptional cuisine, luxury and hospitality. I am confident that Chef Surendra’s appointment will play a pivotal role in elevating our already distinguished food and beverage outlets, further enhancing guest satisfaction and solidifying Taj Cape Town's position as a premier destination." Mark Wernich, Cluster General Manager, Africa for Taj Hotels.