They’ve come, they’re conquering. Here are five new hospitality honchos, ready to take Delhi by storm
Emmanuel Guemon, Executive Chef, Leela Kempinski Gurgaon: This is Chef Guemon’s second stint in India, the first being over 10 years ago in Amar Vilas, Agra. Every executive chef of every hotel in the world has a soft corner for a particular part of the operation notwithstanding the fact that he looks after the entire kitchen. Ask Guemon what he is going to pay special attention to, and he says, “Zanotta”. It is the Italian restaurant of the hotel but in the absence of a speciality Italian chef, it had become the de facto modern European restaurant of the hotel. Guemon intends to turn it around. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.
Chef Majid Kiwan
Chef Majid Kiwan is the only Lebanese chef in the city at the moment. He has recently joined Spectra at Leela Kempinski Gurgaon. He cooks the food that is usually known as ‘Lebanese’ but which, in fact, includes the triad of Syrian, Jordanian and Lebanese cuisines. That is a region of the world where political boundaries apart, families very often have cross-border connections. Take Chef Majid himself: his parents are Syrian and Jordanian in addition to which his mother is a Lebanese national!
Chef Marin Leuthard
Many top chefs in Hyatt Regency are from the triumvirate of Switzerland, Germany, Austria, so its no surprise that Chef Marin Leuthard is from Switzerland (the last two chefs of the hotel have been Austrian and German respectively). Having been posted to Almaty in Kazakhstan and Muscat before this, Chef Leuthard is not only well-travelled, but has been out of Switzerland for years. But does he miss it? Not really. For he carries a part of Switzerland wherever he goes. Right now he is setting up a roesti menu for a once-a-month promotion in Cafe, the all-day diner at Hyatt. Anything that features pan-fried potatoes with a choice of toppings is bound to do outrageously well in Delhi.
Michel Koopman is one of the most seasoned General Managers in the National Capital Region right now After having done stints in Jakarta, Munich, Belgrade, Osaka, Bali, Australia, Shanghai, Hainan and even on the edge of Abu Dhabi in a little known area called Qasr Al Sarab. Michel, whose travels have caused his charming Dutch accent to fade just a little, wants to explore India with his wife and twin daughters, learn the intricacies of the hospitality market in the National Capital Region and make several changes in the hotel, all simultaneously.
After spending years and years in Delhi’s Taj properties — Taj Mahal Hotel at Mansingh Road and Taj Palace Hotel, Satyajit Krishnan got his first assignment as General Manager at the group’s Rambagh Palace, Jaipur. Though he is at the helm of affairs in the all-important Taj Mahal Hotel, he looks back to some of the more resort-like touches of his previous assignment and is toying with the idea of bridging the gap between the friendliness of a resort hotel and the clinical professionalism of a business hotel. Judging by the sheer numbers at his welcome party, Satyajit is a popular figure indeed.