Chef Arvind Bhargava, executive chef of old Turmerik Restaurant and formerly from the Bombay Club in Washington DC, a favorite of President Clinton, has relaunched Turmeric Restaurant.
While in India and on the east coast, Chef Bhargava cooked for VIPs such as President Clinton, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the king of Jordan, Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and a Pakistani President. And Now he is cooking for some of Silicon Valley's top CEOs - a long list of such happy customers have come over again and again which bears his testimony of preparing lip-smacking dishes.
Bhargava's love for cooking began in India. He pursued formal culinary training at the Institute of Hotel Management in India, a school similar in prestige to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. His training included classic French, Italian, Indian and Chinese methods, plus full instruction in restaurant management and wine.He then earned a bachelor of arts degree from Delhi University.
His first culinary post was in the Taj Group of Hotels, cooking in a classical Indian restaurant. This career, spanning nearly 30 years-mostly as executive chef in top 5-star hotels-gave him notable status as a recognized chef in India So notable that when top chefs from the CIA toured India, Bhargava was their guiding chef instructor.
Bhargava was executive chef of Taj Palace, New Delhi, prior to which he was executive chef of Rambagh Palace, Jaipur. During his career with Taj, Chef Bhargava took time out to study at the CIA in New York and graduated from the Advanced Culinary Arts Program in 1983.
In 1992, he took the executive chef post at Washington D.C.'s Bombay Club (which received a Dirona award in 1993 in the best North American restaurant category). Subsequently, this post and his stints as head chef at three New York Indian restaurants led his work to be featured in the Washington Post, Washington Times and the New York Daily News.
Bhargava tries to visit personally with each table, each night. Some Indian guests have remarked, "We have been missing this taste for the last 15 years." Says Bhargava "I love to create new dishes-I know all the authenticity of Indian cuisine. But now I think beyond that to 'How can I make it better?'" He strives to ensure that each dish is fresh, from scratch, aromatic, and balanced. Once, he worked every day for a year and a half to create 322 recipes with his boss in the Taj Hotel Group.
Despite his penchant for hard work, his life is as balanced as his recipes. Chef Bhargava enjoys playing the flute, athletics, writing, and acting. He and his wife, Vinita, have two children, both ardent vegetarians.