The new executive chef at Westin, on their upcoming rooftop restaurant and Himalayan slab cooking
With the launch of Phoenix Market City and the slew of restaurants dotting the == Road, the folks at Velachery are increasingly finding no need to venture into the city on weekends. Matter of fact, things are the other way around, with people from other parts of town braving the traffic for an evening at Hard Rock Cafe or a date at Luxe. And if things go as planned, executive chef Joseph Rathna Raj’s Himalayan Salt Slab cooking at Westin should be the next big draw. “We are looking at the availability, how long it lasts, etc.” says Raj, adding that he is working towards making this available at the hotel by October.
The unlimited effect
Chef Raj is no stranger to us. Some of you may have spotted him at the Radisson Blu GRT Temple bay and Radisson Blu GRT Hotel, where he spent == years, before joining the Starwood group this May. His primary focus will be on Eest, their Oriental restaurant, says the chef, who is looking to rope in a Thai expert, hopefully by September. “We’ve started dimsum Wednesdays at Eest and will be bringing down expat chefs from Delhi, for special festivals. We recently did a whiskey-paired menu at an event where Sandeep Arora was present, and ==are pairing== wines with Pan-Asian food,” he elaborates, adding that at Willows, their sports bar, the ‘unlimited’ concept has really taken off. “We also have a ‘bowl food’ concept there, which is ideal for a meal at midnight with your alcohol,” he says, about their best seller for the FIFA season. The chef does admit that wines don’t move well and a dedicated wine and cheese night, could spread awareness.
Fun on the roof
But what’s keeping the executive chef occupied full time, at the moment, is the hotel’s open-air grill restaurant, Sunset Grill, that is coming up soon. “There will be a lot of interactive cooking on offer at Sunset Grill. You can expect bigger portions – the American way,” says the chef, adding that he is working on a jumbo burger that will be one of the highlights there. But when is this rooftop action set to unfold, we enquire. “In August,” is Raj’s confident reply.