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June 23, 2024

A tribute to Jiggs Kalra, the master artist of Indian cuisine

Pioneering food columnist and author, gastronome and food consultant Jiggs Kalra, 72, passed away yesterday, after a prolonged illness.

Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra, popularly known as Jiggs Kalra, was the first Asian to be induced in the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame. He was regarded as the ‘Czar of Indian cuisine’ or the ‘Tastemaker to Indian cuisine’ – titles bestowed upon him by the late writer and politician Kushwant Singh.

chef jiggs kalra

Kalra had won numerous awards and accolades in his career spanning five decades, such as Best head chef’ and ‘Best Indian Cuisine’ for his restaurant Masala Library in 2017. Kalra had been instrumental in introducing Indian cuisine to the world. He revived lost cuisines and cooking styles to make some delicious, critically acclaimed dishes and is credited for reviving the Galouti Kebab. He had also served international bigwigs such as Bill Clinton, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Kalra was the first to conceptualise and host an Indian food and television series called Daawat.  He also authored over 11 books. Prashad, a celebration of the best in Indian cooking. Jiggs describes it as the kind of book a mother-in-law would give her daughter-in-law and daughter. Today Prashad is regarded as the Bible for the chefs.

Masala Library
Masala Library

He is credited with the culinary success of numerous hotels of The Oberoi Group, of the ITC Group and The Park Group. He is also credited with the establishment of Bukhara, in Delhi Dum Pukht, in Mumbai, and The Great Kebab Factory, in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Chennai; three of the nations renowned culinary addresses.

Jiggs is considered the brain behind some of the best performing restaurants in the country such as Masala Library, PA PA YA, Farzi Cafe and Made in Punjab. His son and daughter-in-law will now continue his food legacy with Massive Restaurants PVT LTD.

Masala Library
Masala Library

Twitter was flooded with messages for the late legend-

Well-known food critic, Vir Sanghvi wrote

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri wrote

chef jiggs kalra

Rest in Peace Jiggs.

Compiled by Tanya Malhotra

Kannav Chaudhary


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