Executive Chef Elangovan Shanmugam

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Chef Elangovan Shanmugam has been in the hospitality industry for about two decades. Prior to this, he has worked at Vivanta by Taj - Fisherman's Cove, Chennai, Vivanta by Taj - Blue Diamond, Pune and Vivanta by Taj - Kovalam, Kerala. 

Chef Elangovan is constantly looking at ways of learning and developing his skills in various cuisines, which was evident in his last assignment of 'Culinary Tour of Maharashtra' for which he researched four corners of the state. He specializes in European and Mediterranean cuisines along with his home cuisine – South Indian.

Chef Elango (as he is fondly called) believes in the simplicity of food which reflects in his work at Indus Express designed with a pre independent Punjab theme which serves the classic flavours of Pothovar, Rawalpindi, Amritsar, Khyber and Lahore. 

Chef Elango has graduated from the  Flamingo Institute of Further Education, Selangor - Malaysia. He holds a Diploma in Hotel & Catering Management with Professional Hospitality Program Management from (C&G) City and Guilds - London, and (NRA) National Restaurant Association- USA. Prior to that Chef Elango had completed his Bachelor Degree of Business Administration from University of Madras - Chennai. Additionally, he has successfully completed a Certificate Course in Culinary Arts from Food Craft Institute, Trichirappalli.

Q & A with Executive Chef Elangovan Shanmugam

1. The main influences that made me interested in food and cooking as a career...

I belong to a farmer's family background and spent my childhood in the paddy fields of my village. Seeing my father getting all the fresh produce from the fields was a memory that I cherish and fresh produce right off the farm fascinates me till date. I still share my childhood memories of growing up in my small village of Tamil Nadu with my team of chefs, and the influences it made to my professional style of cooking which eventually made me pursue my budding passion to a different level and hence joined the Food Craft institute, Trichy in year 1993.

2. My earliest memory in the kitchen...

Helping my mother in cleaning rice, lentils and making batters manually in a traditional stone grinder.

3. My favourite dish from childhood...

Being a south Indian food from that part is my favorite and I encourage all my colleagues and guests to try it from time to time. It is simple yet delicious and nutritious 

Valaithandu kadiyal- (Banana stem cooked in earthenware (clay pot) with spices and mashed with wooden laddle) eaten with steamed rice and ghee.

Parangikai Masiyal- (Yellow pumpkin cooked in earthenware (clay pot) with tomatoes and spices and mashed with wooden laddle) eaten with steamed rice and ghee.

As I grew I enjoyed the cuisine of neighboring Sri Lanka and Mulligatawny remains an eternal favorite 

4. My favourite dish to cook...

I had the opportunity to learn authentic Middle Eastern cuisine recipes and also worked with some expert’s .Preparing the simple mezze, with alluring aroma, freshness with the freshest ingredients delights me a lot.

5. A cuisine that I want to learn...

I would not name a specific cuisine. We all know that in today’s world of globalization the importance and value of our Vedas has been recognised by the whole world, so using the strong principles of Ayurveda I want to explore more in terms of developing new recipes. My team of talented chefs have already done a lot of work on the same, especially breakfast. I firmly believe that nothing can be better than starting the day with well-balanced food with detoxifying properties which heals the mind and soul.

6. My secret to great food...

The freshest ingredients, passion and a little bit of skill 

7. The last cookbook I bought...

'The Ultimate Thai and Asian cookbook' by Deh-Ta Hsuing, Becky Johnson and Sallie Morris was an interesting read 

8. A culinary show or movie that I love to watch...

Ratatouille of course!!

9. In my free time, I would like to...

Spend time with my wife and kids. Cooking for them and experiencing new destinations is my destress

10. My guilty pleasure...

Desserts !!!! I have a sweet tooth.

11. I will describe my restaurant/hotel to a first time guest..

Indus Express is a meal destination which offers the cuisine of undivided Punjab made with robust flavours, skill and the freshest of ingredients.

The passion in our food makes the restaurant the destination.

12. 4-5 personal tips that I would like share...

  1. Compete with yourself not others.
  2. Attitude is the key to success.
  3. Honest and hard work never fails.

Chef's Recipes