Top 10 Most Famous Indian Chefs

As we put together this list of the most famous Indian chefs in the world we didn’t want to simply focus on the names that are familiar to western audiences but more importantly introduce the world to several talented Indian chefs that you have not heard of, yet.

The exotic flavors of Indian cuisine are known worldwide and loved by millions of people. The unique spices and use of flavorings that compliment the food that they are being used on are so distinctive to the area of the world from which they were born. 

Indian food culture is one of the most popular in the world due to the use of these flavors and pairings. There are many chefs that try to recreate the mix of tastes that come from India, but some are more adept and up for the challenge. This brings us to our list of the top 10 most famous Indian chefs:

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Kapoor hails from Ambala in North India. In 1984 he graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition in New Delhi. He later went on to become the Executive Chef of the Centaur Hotel located in Mumbai. 

His cooking has been hailed as extraordinary works of art as well as being known as an innovative chef, he has been able to mix Indian flavors with those of other backgrounds. 

Kapoor has won many awards over the years for his delectable dishes and was named ‘Best Chef of India’ by the Indian government. He has also been on the TV show Khana Khanzana which broadcasts in multiple countries to millions of people worldwide. 

Kapoor also started his own channel named Food Food, bringing his cooking skills and mentorship to millions of viewers.  His cookbooks include How to Cook Indian : More Than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen, Everyone Can Cook: With Sanjeev Kapoor, Traditional Indian Cuisines Punjabi and Tandoori Cooking at Home to name just a few. 

Kapoor owns restaurants including The Yellow Chilli and Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor which have been enormously popular since they opened and gained many fans from around the world. More information can be found on his official site.

Chef Vikas Khanna

Vikas Khanna began making his own recipes when he was very young as he was inspired by his mentor Sager Rajani who laid the foundation for Khanna’s cooking expertise. He hosted weddings at the young age of 17 and eventually graduated from Manipal Academy of Higher Education as well as studying at the Culinary Institute of America. 

Khanna worked at several hotels and restaurants in India before moving to the United States and joining Junoon located in Manhattan, which was awarded a Michelin star by the Michelin Guide. 

He has been on numerous television shows like MasterChef India, Twist of Taste and appeared as a judge on Hell’s Kitchen and Throwdown! With Bobby Flay. He is a favorite among chefs and foodies alike which is one reason that makes him such a popular choice to guest host and judge on so many shows.  

Khanna is a part of many different charitable organizations including the ones that he founded named “South Asian Kid’s Infinite Vision” and “Cooking For Life”. 

He has won numerous awards such as the Michelin star, James Beard Foundation Award, GQ India Man of the year in 2012 and “Rising Star” award. 

His cookbooks include Indian Harvest : Classic and Contemporary Vegetarian Dishes, Mocktails, Punches, and Shrubs : Over 80 Nonalcoholic Drinks to Savor and Enjoy, My Great India Cookbook and Ayurveda : The Science of Food and Life.

Chef Atul Kochhar

Kochhar received a diploma in Hotel Management and immediately began cooking at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi which is a five-star deluxe hotel. He also helped manage the staff and bring the standards of the restaurant to a whole new level. 

His prior schooling achievements helped him run the restaurant and gain the fame he deserved. He was the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star in January of 2001. Kochhar opened his own restaurant in London named Kanishka in 2019. 

He cooks the largely traditional Indian foods from his native land and brings amazing flavors to his tables. Kochhar owns another three restaurants which also serve his innovative yet conventional dishes. 

Kochhar has also been on television several times on shows like Million Pound Menu and MasterChef Goes Large. He has also authored several cookbooks such as Atul’s Curries of the World and Benares: Michelin Starred Cooking.

Chef Ranveer Brar

Ranveer Brar was born in Lucknow, India, where he grew up and learned to love food from the local street vendors, one of whom he became somewhat of an apprentice to. 

He learned the foundations of cooking at this young age and continued to work with food as he grew older in life. He went on to graduate from Institute of Hotel Management in Lucknow. He then went on to begin his culinary journey at the Taj Mahal Hotel. He eventually opened his own restaurants Morisco, il Camino and Fishtail. 

When he moved to the United States he ended up in Boston where he opened a new restaurant Banq, which was named the Best New Restaurant in the World. Brar’s dishes have spanned across many different restaurants and brought in people from all over the world. 

He has also been on numerous television shows such as Breakfast Xpress & Snack Attack, Food Tripping and The Great Indian Rasoi. 

The chef also authored a cookbook called Come into My Kitchen which has been warmly received by many. Brar has been a major influence on Indian food and culture in the United States and is credited with bringing the two together.

Chef Madhur Jaffrey

Jaffrey is one of the most famous Indian chefs on this list, who also happens to be an actress, writer and television personality. She has brought together people across the world with her cooking and television achievements. 

Jaffrey has had many connections with those in the culinary as well as media worlds and has brought her influence to both. She continues to be a part of mainstream media and show off her talents both in the kitchen and in front of the camera. 

Jaffrey has also been a consultant to many restaurants as well as being a food critic. She has won many awards including being inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame. 

Jaffrey’s cookbooks are legendary and include At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka: A Cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey’s Instantly Indian Cookbook: Modern and Classic Recipes for the Instant Pot, Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking: A Cookbook and Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World: A Cookbook. 

Jaffery’s influence is truly remarkable and her time spent in so many different venues of culture and media is astonishing. She still continues to act and cook to this day.

Chef Nita Mehta

Nita Mehta is an expert in the science of cooking and nutrition. She has more than 400 cookbooks to her name which have sold millions of copies. 

She has her own culinary academy named Nita Mehta Culinary Academy which teaches culinary students a variety of different types of meals and desserts, notably health and low-calorie dishes. It has been a goal of hers to help ensure that the meals she makes and dishes she influences are healthy and lean towards their nutritional value. 

Mehta also owns her own publishing house named SNAB Publishers, which have gone on to publish many of her own cookbooks. Some of her many cookbooks include Nita Mehta’s Diwali Cookbook Vegetarian, Chapati Chaat (100% Tried & Tested Recipes), 101 Diet Recipes and Tiffin Recipes For Children.

Chef Tarla Dalal

Dalal was an influential chef, food writer and cookbook author. She published many books that sold millions of copies worldwide. Like Nit Mehta, Dalal put her focus on healthy cooking while keeping the traditional Indian cuisine that she grew up with. 

Her recipes were also published in many magazines that were used in over one hundred million households. Dalal also made a name for herself in the media arena with her two shows, The Tarla Dalal Show and Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal. Some of her many cookbooks include Healthy Soups & Salads, Rajasthani Cookbook, Healthy Snacks and Fun Food for Children. 

Dalal passed away on November 6th, 2013.

Chef Floyd Cardoz

Cardoz was born in Mumbai India and began his culinary career by going to culinary school in the same city. From there he moved to Switzerland to attend Les Roches International School of Hotel Management where he grew his artistry even further. 

Cardoz then moved to the United States where he began working under renowned chef Gray Kunz and learned to pair his Indian heritage with western style cooking. 

He moved on and worked in a few different restaurants, honing his skills. Cardoz then opened the restaurants El Verano Taqueria and North End Grill. These restaurants were immediate hits and began to gain a huge following in the areas as well as bring people from afar. 

He won the James Beard Award four times and won season 3 of Top Chef Masters. Cardoz also authored the cookbooks Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla: Big Flavor. Bold Spices. A New Way to Cook the Foods You Love. and One Spice, Two Spice: American Food, Indian Flavors. Cardoz passed away on March 25th, 2020.

Chef Vineet Bhatia

Vineet Bhatia was born and raised in Mumbai India like many of the chefs on this list. As a young child he dreamed of becoming a pilot, but due to not passing a physical to join the Air Force he turned to the culinary arts and began cooking as was his mother’s love. 

He went to college in Mumbai and got a degree in Hotel Management and Catering Technology. He spent time working in different restaurants and earning rave reviews for his food and infusion of cultures. 

He later opened his restaurant Zaika which was hailed as one of the best Indian restaurants in London. Bhatia was then awarded the Michelin star for his work and would later receive a second. He has opened several restaurants since, all to critical acclaim and many accolades. 

Bhatia’s cooking style is very inventive and has garnered attention from other chefs worldwide. He is able to fuse Indian flavors with other western tastes to truly make something special each time he begins in the kitchen.

Chef Aarti Sequeira

Aarti Sequeira was born in Mumbai India and moved to the United States at an early age, receiving a degree for journalism before being trained in the culinary arts at the New School of Cooking. 

Although spending much of her time in America, Sequeira attributes her cooking to her Indian heritage and her mother’s influence. Her mother was a major inspiration to Sequeira and the way that she prepares her dishes. 

She loves to incorporate the traditional methods that she learned to use as a child. Sequeira participated on the reality television show The Next Food Network Star and went on to win the show. Sequeira is a recurring host on the show Guy’s Grocery Games. 

Today she continues to hone her skills and bring Indian cuisine to the United States as well as grow and expand her influence. She has enormous potential to become even more famous as she is still relevantly young in her career. 

Who are your favorite Indian chefs?

The amazing dishes made by these top indian chefs have brought smiles to millions of mouths worldwide and have earned many awards and accolades. The unique flavorings and tastes that come from Indian cuisine make it one of the most popular in the world. 

The famous Indian chefs on this list all share the unique talent of being able to bring out the best in Indian food and share it with the entire world. A big part of what makes them so famous is their ability to bring their distinctly amazing dishes to other parts of the world and garner new fans along the way. These top 10 most famous Indian chefs are truly inventive and innovative.