‘The Sachin Tendulkar of South Indian cooking’’ that is what a noted cricket writer wrote about Venkatesh after being impressed by his recipes and cooking skills at Leela Palace, Jamavar back in his earlier days of cooking career. A face recognized in almost every household in Southern India; Venkatesh has become famous through the Kitchen Superstar and Samyal Samyal Tv series both of which aired on Star Vijay.

Hailing from a family of restaurateurs, he is a native from Udupi- Mangalore region. Bhat being a strict vegetarian he professes his exceptional talent in non-vegetarian cooking. He completed his catering studies at Asan Memorial and obtained a graduate degree from Cornell University and also majored in general management at Nanyang University, Singapore. Bhat spent the yesteryears of his career as a chef in the kitchens of Hotel Chola Sheraton. In 1996, he moved to Taj Coromandel as a management trainee in hotel operations and kitchen management before being promoted to the stature of sous chef in 1998. At Taj Coromandel, he was a part of the team that launched Southern Spice.

He then joined Leela Palace in Bangalore as an executive sous chef in 2001 and was promoted to corporate chef by 2004. The ambitious and famous chef is also the CEO of Accord Metropolitan hotel chain which he inherited in the worn out state because of de-motivated staff, over expenses and inefficient pest control. He rebuilt the mismanaged company and worked hard to bring it back to business. Bhat joined hands with a young entrepreneur Vijay Abhimanyu to launch a chain of South Indian restaurants in various formats - South Indies, Bon South and Up South – which made rounds and won awards.

After tasting success in establishing concept restaurants, Bhat moved up for larger ventures. CEO by day and chef by night, he focuses on hotel’s Royal Indiana restaurant which is famous for serving South Indian cuisines.

M. Damodaran Tamil Actor

M. Damodaran

Dr. Chef Damodaran K or Damu as one may address him is a renowned TV host. He is a much-loved food eater and even a show presenter and a very good TV cook who has presented many primetime series of recipes on TV channel. Off his TV channel works, he loves to find out the old and tasty recipes of south India from its villages and even visits old-fashioned village shop from where he learns to find out that the old culinary tastes and habits had never faded away still. He still travels across many South Indian states to discover that our country is still the biggest, spiciest and most wonderful cookery base in the world. He has the Guinness Record for making the longest ever dosa (49.4 feet) and even tried his luck to make the biggest idli. He was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award for his years of good service, by South Indian Culinary Association recently. Now the latest buzz in town is that Dhamu is all set to make his Kollywood debut with the film ‘Ulkuthu’ which will have star cast of Rajendran, Bala Saravanan, and Caarthick Raju will direct the film. To his credit, he was associated with a cookery show on Jaya TV and Polimer TV as well. The show ‘Suvaiyo Suvai’ (Jaya TV) was one the cookery show that was telecast on every Friday at 6.30 PM. And another show ‘Namma Ooru Samayal’(Polymer TV) was telecast afternoon daily. People in South India (Tamil Nadu) are big fans of ‘Damu Sir’ as all his chef shows are basically stomach-churning shows. His appearance alone makes his show awesome, and his love of eating any food and all his food recipes can be daily cooked up as dishes at home and even at the restaurant. The Guinness Chef also hosted another show ‘Samayal Darbar’ on NDTV Hindu. He was born in Madras (Chennai) on September 3, 1954. He has done yeomen service to students of hotel and catering management by writing books. The TV host has traveled across the world like Thailand, Singapore, France, England, and Italy, etc. in search of best continental food habits that made him much-loved food writer in Chennai now. He is a person known to us for his down-to-earth cooking style who is happy to chat and communicate with a winning, charismatic smile.

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