Atul Kochhar is the Chef/Patron of Benares in Mayfair, London. He was the first Indian chef to gain a Michelin star at Tamarind and repeated the feat by winning another star at Benares in 2007. A leading light in Indian cookery, Atul speaks with passion and authority about food, and topics within the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Born in Jamshedpur, eastern India, Atul Kochhar was trained and worked under the Oberoi Hotel Group in New Delhi where he established himself as one of the leading chefs of his generation.
His reputation brought him to London in 1994 where he was appointed head chef at Tamarind restaurant in Mayfair. By the age of 31, he had become the first Indian chef to be awarded the coveted Michelin star.
Benares represents Atul's most ambitious venture to date, with a menu that reflects his passion for food from all areas of India and a setting to rival the most elegant of restaurants in London. His culinary talents did not go unmissed and it was at Benares that Atul won his second Michelin star.
Never complacent with the quality of his work, he returns to his homeland whenever possible to research new recipes and ingredients.
Renowned for the vibrancy of his food and the subtlety of his spice mixes, Atul is scrupulously faithful to the origins of each recipe. The presentation may be lean towards modern European, but the heart of each dish can be traced to individual households across India.
The acclaimed cookbook Indian Essence, a collection of strikingly original and beautifully presented recipes, is the product of one such trip. The follow up book, Fish, Indian Style, presents recipes for every type of fish, spiced in the Indian style he is so well known for.
His recipes have appeared widely in magazines and newspapers, and he demonstrates regularly on food shows in the UK and abroad. He lives in London with his wife, daughter and son.
Atul has appeared on many culinary TV shows such as Great British Menu, Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen.