The Seven Sins of Atul Kochhar - Chef Patron, Benares Restaurant in Mayfair
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The Seven Sins of Atul Kochhar

Chef Patron, Benares Restaurant in Mayfair
Atul Kochhar
Chef Patron of the highly acclaimed Benares restaurant in London, Atul Kochhar rose to fame as one the first Indian chefs to win a coveted Michelin star.

The Indian born, British-based chef, restaurateur and television personality started his career in 1993, at the prestigious Oberoi hotel group in India. Working as a sous chef and supervising a team of 18, Atul was credited with significantly raising standards in the kitchen.

This led to his move to renowned Hilton chef Bernard Kunig’s restaurant in 1994. Building on his fine-dining experience, later that year Atul made the move to London to open Tamarind restaurant. Here his culinary excellence was recognised and during Atul’s tenure as Head Chef, he was awarded his first Michelin star in 2001.
 
Paving the way for his first independent venture, Atul left Tamarind in 2002 and in April 2003 opened Benares Restaurant & Bar. With a focus on combining his heritage and love of British ingredients, Atul’s innovative modern Indian cuisine successfully redefined the perception of Indian cooking in Britain, leading to his second Michelin star in 2007, an accolade which he has retained at Benares ever since.

The appetite for Atul’s unique understanding of Indian flavours in modern British food has since reached global heights. In 2012 the chef teamed up with fellow restaurateur Jitindar Singh to launch India Essence, a neighbourhood restaurant in Kent, which was shortly followed by fine-dining restaurants in Mauritius and Dubai. Atul’s international success has continued on the seas, with a unique collaboration with P&O cruises. In November 2014, Atul opened Sindhu, a traditional Indian restaurant with a contemporary twist, at Macdonald Compleat Angler in Marlow. Last year, in addition to launching Not Really India (NRI) in Mumbai, Atul also opened a second Benares, in Madrid. Later this year, Atul will launch Lima - a tapas-style bar - also in Mumbai

With regular return trips to his native country, Atul ensures that his creative dishes constantly evolve and continue to surprise and delight the senses. He has had the honour to cook for Prince Charles at St. James’ Palace and was invited to meet HM The Queen. Dedicating time outside of the kitchen to philanthropic endeavours Atul has worked with The Prince’s Trust and stands as an ambassador to The British Asian Trust to support high impact charities in South Asia and the UK.
 
Wrath - What makes you angry about the hospitality industry?
Atul Kochhar Seven Sins
A bad customer experience! Be it through bad food, bad service or bad hospitality. I really hate when things are unclean and no care or attention has been taken. Bad customer service has a real impact on customer loyalty and satisfaction.
 
Greed - If all your food fantasies came true what would be on your Plate?
Atul Kochhar Seven Sins
It would absolutely have to be a luxurious lobster with caviar and champagne. I love mangoes tossed with fresh lime juice… delicious.
 
Sloth - What do you do to unwind?
Atul Kochhar Seven Sins
When I’m at home I mess around with my kids: when I was young the best memories I have were spent playing cricket with my father in our backyard.
 
Pride - What are you most proud of?
Atul Kochhar Seven Sins
To date I am most proud of my children’s achievements. I am always excited to hear their stories and I encourage them to be their very best, whatever their strengths and weaknesses.
 
Lust - Is there anything that you are still lusting to achieve?
Atul Kochhar Seven Sins
More time with my father.
 
Envy - who are you most envious of?
Atul Kochhar Seven Sins
Daniel Craig as James Bond. What man doesn’t want to be like the world’s best known spy?
 
Gluttony - have you ever over indulged? 
Atul Kochhar Seven Sins
Once in a while I do, at times of big celebration, it’s difficult not to!
 
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Seven Sins
Seven Sins
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