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Executive Chef Nitin Mathur

Taj Santacruz, Mumbai

Chef Nitin Mathur embarked on his journey with Taj Hotels in 1993 at the Taj Palace Hotel New Delhi. He brings to Taj Santacruz Mumbai, his passion for cooking novel recipes paired with close to 25 years of culinary expertise. Known for preparing exquisite cuisines, his recipes capture an intriguing mix of delicious and scintillating flavours.    

Chef Nitin hails from a family where celebratory cooking is a way of life. His grandmother, mother, and aunts were great cooks. The family relished vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare with equal fervor adapting and inculcating the changes in culinary trends into their kitchens at home. Growing up in an environment brimming with delectable aromas and ardent cooks only fueled in him a desire to curate gastronomical delights. 

The past 25 years have taken him to different cities with the Taj from the Taj Jai Mahal Palace Jaipur to Taj Gateway Hotel in Varkala, Kerala, Taj Bengal Kolkata, and The Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi, each one adding to his culinary repertoire. His tenure at The Taj Mahal Delhi was a highlight where he was part of the team that successfully launched the Wasabi by Morimoto, a world-class contemporary Japanese restaurant and Varq, a beautiful union of cuisine and art. 

Chef Nitin has also been at the helm of the kitchens at Taj Krishna Hyderabad wherein he was instrumental in building the legacy of the hotel's iconic restaurants - Firdaus serving authentic Hyderabadi cuisine; Golden Dragon which showcases the cuisine of the Sichuan and Canton provinces of China.

Chef Nitin is defined by his style of contemporary Indian cuisine and his signature dishes include – Haleem, Kache Gosht ki Biryani, Shikampur Kebab, Chinese Chilly Garlic Prawns, Steamed Chilean Seabass, Crispy Prawns Oat and Curry Leaves. A gourmet enthusiast with enviable culinary skills, Chef Nitin brings to the table refined classical flavours, plated to perfection. 


Q & A with Executive Chef Nitin Mathur


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

I hail from a family where celebratory cooking is a way of life. In fact, the most important women in my family - my grandmother, mother, and aunts have all been great cooks. I belong to a household where the entire family relished vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare with equal fervor, adapting and inculcating the changes in culinary trends into our kitchens. Growing up in an environment brimming with delectable aromas and ardent cooks only fuelled in me a desire to curate gastronomical delights.

2. My earliest memory in the kitchen...

I remember the frosty winter evening spent with my mother, making Sarson Ka Saag with Makki Ki Roti in our small kitchen. Winters in Barnala (Punjab) are extremely cold, however, true joy lies in the first bite of dollops of white butter melting on hot Makki ki Roti. 

3. My favourite dish to cook...

Hyderabadi Kache Gosht Ki Biryani with Mirchi Ka Salan.

4. A cuisine that I want to learn... 

Japanese cuisine for its unique presentation and freshness of flavours. 

5. My secret to great food...

It is about cooking every meal as if you are preparing it for your family and loved ones. Needless to say, you will always put your best knife forward to ensure a hearty meal.

6. The last cookbook I bought or the last incident that has inspired you...

On my very recent sojourn in Sri Lanka, I stumbled upon Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct. The entire area is alive with restaurants buzzing at any given time of the day. What is really special about the cuisine culture is the freshness of ingredients and flavour profiles that has guests craving for more.

7. A culinary show that I love to watch...

I am an ardent fan of Australia MasterChef and Lost Recipes. 

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

Travel to newer destinations and learn more about the food values and culture that make for a memorable and unique dining experience.

9. The kind of adaptations I have had to make while combining two cuisines/palates/guest taste...

I staunchly believe that the authenticity of traditional recipes should never be compromised to plate a fusion fare.

10. My guilty pleasure...

Looking for opportunities to use dark chocolate in most of my recipes.

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

Authentic experiences plated to perfection by a brigade of culinary experts.

12. My menu design....( what kind of research goes into its preparation, can you walk us through the process...

The entire team is mindful of the evolving palate of our discerning travellers. So while we engage with guests on-ground to know more about their preferences, we do ensure the recipes are a melange of local and fresh produce to maintain authenticity.

13. My recommendations in my Rivea Restaurant...

The small plates menu at Rivea - Prawn Arancini, Pissaladiere, Avvolto Avocado, Pork Belly Skewers. 

14. What is the unique dining experience in your hotel?  How was this conceived... 

We believe that every occasion is a special one and should be differentiated from each other. Keeping in mind guest’s taste and preferences, we craft the menu along with a fitting ambiance at our myriad dining destinations.