The Taj signifies one of the world’s premier hospitality brands and its London hub – 51 Buckingham Gate and St. James’ Court – are pretty much a home away from home for many Indians and members of the British Indian diaspora.
This aspect has been further enhanced with the opening of the exclusive club, a particular favourite with global Indians on the move. Besides, with a brand-new concept restaurant TH@51 and special plans for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations lined up, it promises to be a summer of fun and great food at this iconic hotel.
In this exclusive, Executive Chef Sujoy Gupta takes time out from creating magical recipes to talk about what’s in store at this little slice of India in the heart of London for the months ahead, his personal favourites from a truly eclectic menu selection and his own journey with flavours and spices.
How are the summer months ahead shaping up for the Taj St. James' Court, London?
The food is to be crafted with the right ingredients, without any compromising in the quality. Also sourcing from the right qualitative supplier which henceforth turned to be an appetising dish sketched on the plate for the guest. In St. James’ Court a Taj Hotel we follow this and all the outlets’ menus are carefully handpicked and designed, reflecting the Taj-ness that we also portray on the plate.
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What is the driving principle behind TH@51, the newest restaurant?
TH 51 is an experience. Individuals on the lookout for stylish dining venues with intriguing concepts and philosophies to explore. They enjoy ‘travelling’ with their tastebuds and have grown to have a wider, more discerning palate and are eager to taste something new. Beyond , these individuals are conscious about the food they consume and are equally curious about the ideas, stories, and origins behind them.
Enter a world of flavours, imagined for a curious and global palate. We draw inspiration from cuisines and flavours around the world, exploring the unexplored and imagining the unimagined to create a food and drink experience that excites all senses. Beyond unique recipes and flavours, we believe food and drink are best enjoyed in the company of others.
For this reason, we imagine creative dishes and cocktails meant to be shared. With utmost respect for our ingredients, we celebrate nature’s seasonality and handpick the freshest, highest quality natural produce for our guests.
How will the menu of the Courtyard chime with the themes behind the other restaurants?
The Courtyard is more like the relaxed plate, enjoying sun and the summer weather the ultimate al fresco experience. Here we have kept the refreshing summer salads, the breads and wraps concept with a wide selection of robata steaks and grills.
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Does the Chambers menu have overlapping elements?
The Chambers menu has the Global selections which consist of modern European delights along with the Comfort of . The Chambers selections have been made with keeping in mind the offering our national and global members and what would like to have.
What are a few of your personal highlight/signature dishes?
These are some of my personal dishes that I think are my signature dishes, apart from the Indian food, which is always an excitement.
BURRATA & KALE CHAAT: Fried kale, Italian burrata, mint & tamarind chutney, onion & tomato salsa, crispy sev
CORONATION MALAI CHICKEN: Curried chicken cheese tikka, almonds & raisins, garlic & coriander naan
PANEER WELLINGTON: Baked puff pastry, spiced tikka masala, garlic, baby spinach, mascarpone makhan
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What drew you into this journey with food and spices?
I always use to dream to become a chef since I was in school, as my uncle used to be the chef of ITDC back in India. I used to get excited when I would visit the Ashok hotel, in in the 90’s.
While starting my career in food production department a key area of my profession was the special ingredients and different fresh flavours and spices. This always gave me the motivation to sketch something new and flavoursome for the guests.
I take food as chemistry where no experiment is wrong, even if you fail, you will get to learn and develop, resulting in innovation and creativity. I have worked in many destinations and still I am learning everyday as the culinary journey has the best of the innovations every minute.