The Man

Surjan Singh Jolly, fondly known as Chef Jolly, joins JW Marriott Bengaluru as Executive Chef. Bengaluru will now be home to Chef Jolly's infectious energy and lively persona. Chef Jolly's recent achievements over two decades of being in the hospitality industry include having his own show on Zee Khana Khazana titled "Ab Har Koi Chef". He was also chosen as the Head Chef for Paris Hilton when she visited India and has been the Guest Chef on the world- renowned reality television show, Master Chef India and now currently as a judge in 1st season of Junior Master Chef India.

His love and passion for culinary has increased his knowledge on ingredients and excites him to travel on endless expeditions to explore the nuances of authentic and traditional cuisines. To name a few, Chef Jolly has traveled and cooked with Sriji Arvind Singh Mewar, of Udaipur Royalty, Nawab Mehboob Alam Khan, the giant of Hyderabadi cuisine, cooked in the bylanes of Lucknow, perfected the Kulchas in Amritsar dhabas to farming in Pampore, outskirts of Kashmir during the saffron harvest. Currently on his travels to royalty of Mysore to re-live the erstwhile days.

He has also received invitations to share his creative insights and assist the task force teams for conceptualizing innovative food ideas and inaugurating new properties. Chef Jolly is also a proud recipient of the prestigious Global Marriott Hotels & Resorts 'Chef of the Year Award for Culinary Excellence'. Chef Jolly also travels annually to Nova Scotia, Canada as part of the Culinary Tourism Board to spread awareness on adding Indian flavors to their local and seasonal produce.

Chef Jolly is a member of several renowned programs such as Regional Culinary Board for Marriott Asia Pacific, Culinary Board Worldwide Marriott, International Culinary Guild of Chefs UK and Executive Committee member for WICA (Western Indian Culinary Association), which has helped him hone his culinary skills and embrace new food and beverage concepts.

Chef's longstanding career started at The Taj Palace, New Delhi as the Chef de Partie in June 1993. He joined the Marriott Group of Hotels in 2000 as a Sous Chef at Goa Marriott Resort. Chef was Head Chef of Saffron (Indian Specialty restaurant) at JW Marriott, Mumbai. Chef also lent his expertise at London Marriott West India Quay Hotel & Executive Apartments as the Executive Chef before his last stint at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel. He has worked with some of the finest properties across the world in different capacities and in culturally diverse surroundings, noted among them is the Taj Group of hotels, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Choice Hotels International. Chef has worked at The Club, Mumbai with Jiggs Kalra where he was the Chef in charge of all the elite activities organized at the club from A list parties to Bollywood celebrity weddings.

He is a hotel management graduate from the National Council of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition, Jaipur, and holds an MBA in Marketing.

Besides food and hospitality, Chef indulges in adventurous activities like camping, biking, dune bashing and jet skiing. He is also inclined towards photography, travel and art.

Early Days

I am reminded of my childhood days...

This particular incident took place on the first day of my school. I was barely 4.
I have been narrated this story many times as I grew up and till this day it comes flashing in my memory, time and again, and I laugh in disbelief.

I was up early, it was a Monday morning and mum was all hysterically paranoid, as I would not get ready and would play hide and seek @ 6am. She finally found me on top of the mango tree, my face hidden behind the bunch of full bloomed & ripe "local Dusheree" thinking she couldn't see me. I was bribed to come down and the deal was that we are going out for a picnic by the river and not to the school.

She had me dressed to kill. On the way out from home, I was taken by surprise as the plans eventually had to be changed; we were on the way to the school. "My first day in school" I tried to keep my cool; the thought of going to the school didn't bother me as much as not going for the picnic. There was already a plan being conceived in my mind as we were approaching the school "Run Away".
As the day passed, I started getting the feeling of being caged to being choked. One of our sweet and liberal teachers thought of taking us out for a water break, 15 minutes was too long a time for me to break free, I escaped... from the back fence and took the straight road towards god only knows where, on the way I was licked by the passing cows and buffalos, finally reached few shops, I was lost...it was a small town ship, most knew each other, few shop keepers who knew our family took the initiative to drop me home. The teachers back at school must have gone berserk by then and I was so upset & mad with the idea of going to the school that, I was finally given a chance to make a desire which would be fulfilled for the condition of going back- I would go back to the school and without any escort, only if mum would make me "Kukad" or chicken for lunch. In a jiffy she did and I, the brat made it finally back to the school on the first day. What a welcome it was, and since then most of the teachers would have left the school but, I held strong and started loving it.

"...the humble beginnings of Jolly right from his home town of Chandigarh all through his days at the most famous, prestigious and reputed brands in the Hotel Industry in Asia, to achieve his status as the one and only "Chef Jolly", as he is more popularly known, has been quite a journey for this seemingly very down to earth and talented "Chef"...
a story which is one far from short and more than interesting filled with episodes of fun this man is well acclaimed for, besides his tantalizing Indian dishes..."

He has been trained by the best in and around Dubai and India and some South East Asian countries. He obtained his B.A from the Osmania University, Graduated from National Council of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. And has since worked as:
- Chef de cuisine at Starwood, Ashiana
- Chef de cuisine at JW Marriotts, Saffron
- Executive Sous Chef at The Club
- Chef de Parte at Taj Delhi

He has participated in various cooking contests and other events and come out on top. He is also a certified trainer in his own, by the Marriott International. A part of his work requirement also goes into the training of new associates, their appraising, coaching and counseling for their productivity and work related attitude.

He's been involved in the redesign of the restaurants' menus and concepts by being contemporary to suit the needs of a modern customer. He is actively involved in introducing plate presentations for the Indian cuisine. Responsible for banquet operations and specialty restaurants, menu planning, cost control, ordering and receiving as per specified standards, using records to maintain consistency and recipe development are few of the regular tasks of his day.

Right from his internship at the Taj IHC, Delhi, Chef Jolly has done his motherland proud in the Middle east with Sheraton Starwood- Dubai, JW Marriott-Mumbai, The Club-Mumbai, Hyatt Regency - Delhi, Taj-Delhi , Goa Marriott Resort-Goa, just to name a few, by winning contests or being team leader for many important events, as food ambassador for his respective hotel or resort.

Jolly was a key member of the team to envisage and conceptualize the award winning specialty Indian restaurant, 'Saffron'.

Working on the Re-research of the Hyderabad Cuisine which took me to culinary expedition to the State of Nawabs... Read more @ Culinary Expedition.
I had the honour to visit Rajasthan for a culinary expedition. This experience took me to Mewar & the Marwar region, the 2 very popular belts for cuisine, historical importance and tradition... Read more @ Culinary Expedition.

Besides the book which he is currently working on, he contributes to various print media publications where he shares his culinary secrets and recipes. His articles appear frequently in the widely read The Upper Crust, The Week, Interiors, Financial Times, FHRAI, Mid Day and The Times of India.

Some of his articles and write ups have also featured in the popular dailies including The Gulf News, Khaleej Times, What's On (UAE edition), Grumpy Gourmet (He won the "Grumpy Gourmet" award for the competition "Ready Steady Cook"), Ahalan Masala and Life to mention just a few. For details, check out the Jolly In The Media page.

Has had his mark made on the Indian cooking scene by tantalizing the taste buds of India's celebrity as well as foreign delegates and corporate clientele. He has organized many a high profile formal dinner for the great personalities from both India & those of International fame - a few which include, Ms. Madhuri Dixit's wedding, Hritik Roshan's 1st wedding Anniversary, Amitabh Bachchan's 60th Birthday Celebration and Anil Ambani's personal events.

Innovative young chef with his fun style of cooking... He always incorporates the flavor of fun in kitchen... and whether it is the juggling of pans or singing, these are definitely part and parcel of creating that yummy dish that you would later relish... what is most remarkable about this man is the amount of passion that goes into his every dish...

He even invites guests into the kitchen to try their hand at cooking, even open a bottle of wine and let the fun flow from there...

Food lovers can find their taste buds pacified with much finesse and hospitality by the Chef who is currently Executive Chef at the Goa Marriot Resort, Miramar, Goa, and will definitely be a treat one will not easily forget...

Having started off as a Sous chef there he returned couple of years later to reclaim his place after his stint in the middle east ... as the Maharaja of the Kitchen

When Chef Jolly is not busy in the kitchen he likes to keep himself busy with various other things - "photography" being a major interest of his... apart from that he also likes to experience new concepts in contemporary, thematic & boutique restaurants, visit designer and stylish crockery & cutlery shops & food stores as objects of artistic value attract his curiosity. He thrives on learning and keeping abreast with the latest & all the new developments in the food industry and especially as far as the Customer's demands and likes are concerned as he strongly believes in quality of service.

Not only does Chef Jolly have fun behind kitchen counters, he is actually quite the outdoor guy with camping, driving & biking on country sides & hilly terrains, even to the extent of x-treme Desert dune bashing, water scooter sporting or the more classy Snooker & Billiards...

He mainly kicks back to the sounds of "gazals" by Jagjit Singh & other popular music...

More in depth information about Jolly's profession can be found spread out over the other sections of this website. Write in to him...
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