In the world of culinary excellence, some individuals stand out not just for their remarkable skills but also for the indomitable passion and dedication they bring to their craft. Chef Rajeev Janveja, the Senior Vice President and Corporate Chef of Lemon Tree Hotels, is undoubtedly one such luminary whose journey through the realms of food has been nothing short of inspiring.
A Culinary Odyssey Begins
Rajeev Janveja embarked on his culinary odyssey in 1985 after completing his studies at the prestigious IHM Lucknow. His journey began at the Haveli Indian restaurant within the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, where he honed the foundations of his culinary prowess. Little did he know that this was just the start of an illustrious career that would span nearly four decades.
Crafting Gastronomic Masterpieces
As Rajeev’s career blossomed, he graced the kitchens of various Taj hotels across India, infusing them with his culinary artistry. He spearheaded the re-launch of renowned restaurants like Machan and Ricks at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi. His expertise extended beyond Indian cuisine, as evidenced by his contributions to the international all-day dining experience at ARENA in the Taj Deccan and the iconic Thai Pavillion at Vivanta by Taj, Begumpet.
Rajeev’s impact reached its zenith with his involvement in the renovation, planning, and opening of the acclaimed Indian restaurant, Masala Bay, at Taj Land’s End, Mumbai.
The culinary world took note of Rajeev’s exceptional talents when he received the prestigious ‘TATA Award for Business Excellence’ for his operational excellence at the all-day dining restaurant, Paradise Lounge, at Taj Deccan Hyderabad. This recognition underscored his commitment to setting the bar high in the realm of gastronomy.
Elevating Lemon Tree Hotels
Rajeev Janveja’s journey brought him to Lemon Tree Hotels, where he assumed the role of Senior Vice President & Corporate Chef. In this pivotal position, he wields his influence over F&B (Production) and F&B (Service) across all brands and hotels within the company. With nearly four decades of experience, he is instrumental in revitalizing LTH’s culinary & F&B strategy, steering the group towards becoming the dominant mid-market hotel chain in India.
His visionary approach extends to researching and planning menus for upcoming hotels across different regions of India. Rajeev’s mandate is clear – to create food concepts that cater to mid to upper upscale market travelers seeking exceptional culinary experiences at competitive prices.
Global Culinary Ambassador
Rajeev’s culinary prowess extends beyond Indian borders. He has been a part of high-profile food promotions worldwide and has conducted cookery sessions in countries like Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, and France. His expertise has graced cookery shows on leading television networks like Star TV and Sony TV. Notably, he even served as the personal chef to the late Prime Minister Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a testament to his culinary mastery.
An Influential Speaker and Mentor
Chef Rajeev Janveja’s influence extends beyond the kitchen. He has been an integral part of various culinary events and discussions, including panel discussions on global trends and the future of Indian kitchens. His accolades include being awarded Corporate Chef of the Year at India International Hospitality Expo 2021 and the prestigious GOLDEN HAT AWARD by the Indian Culinary Forum in 2021.
A Heart for Humanity
Chef Rajeev is not just a culinary maestro but also a compassionate soul. He is a passionate marathon runner and has raised substantial funds for charitable causes, including those for the visually impaired.
Question to Chef Rajeev Janveja:
How do you feel after opening India’s largest inventory hotel, Aurika Mumbai, and establishing the Culinary department?
Chef Rajeev Janveja: My excitement and pride are soaring, much like the name “Skycity.” It’s a remarkable achievement, and I’m thrilled to have played a part in creating a culinary experience that matches the grandeur of Aurika Mumbai. Our team has worked tirelessly to curate a diverse and exquisite menu, ensuring that every guest leaves with a memorable dining experience. The journey has been challenging, but the satisfaction of setting up such a prestigious culinary department in this magnificent hotel is beyond words.
My feelings are in words like – Sky high like the name Skycity
Passing on the Flame
Rajeev’s commitment to culinary excellence extends to mentoring the next generation of chefs, having trained Master Chef Kunal Kapoor. Chef Rajeev Janveja’s journey is an inspiration for all aspiring chefs and a testament to the transformative power of dedication, passion, and innovation in the world of culinary arts. He continues to push boundaries, set new standards, and redefine the very essence of what it means to be a culinary visionary. Rajeev Janveja is not just a chef; he is a culinary virtuoso whose influence knows no bounds.