March 2018

'Innovation enables you to constantly improve'

Sheroy Kermani, executive chef at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences and St James' Court, a Taj Hotel, says that innovation is a process that never ends

Executive chef Sheroy Kermani has joined Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences and St James' Court, a Taj Hotel, as executive chef. He joins the hotels from the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives, where he worked as executive chef for seven years.

Chef Sheroy has worked at Taj hotels his whole career, starting as a trainee chef at the Taj President Hotel in Mumbai almost 30 years ago. He decided to move to London for the choice and vibrancy that it offers.

"Working at many other Taj hotels around the world, I have gained experience in different ingredients, dishes, cultures and hotels, which I think gives me a unique advantage in London," he says.

During his career, chef Sheroy launched a new brand within the Taj Group in Bangalore, under the Vivanta banner. This set new culinary standards, and paved the way for more Vivantas within the Taj Group.

He was also part of the team that opened the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in Mauritius. His first executive chef position was at the Blue Sydney, a Taj business hotel.

Chef Sheroy explains that he is ready to take the food at the London hotels to the next level.

"We may trial some dishes as specials before they have the honour of being part of the main à la carte menu. For example, we have just launched a new tapas and pizza menu, which is a new concept, bringing some very fresh and innovative ideas to the hotel," he says.

We might look to developers and product designers for innovation in apps, the cloud and artificial intelligence. But humanity innovates in many different spheres – even ones as old as nourishment. And, for executive chef Sheroy Kermani, who recently joined Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences and St James' Court, a Taj Hotel, it's actually a process that never ends.

"Tastes, flavours and trends are always evolving, and new dishes must keep up with that to give us the edge over our competitors," he explains. "We have a very strong team of chefs here in the kitchens, so we always bounce our ideas and opinions between ourselves to bring something unique, yet delicious and modern, to the table of our guests."

Kermani identifies London's multiculturalism as a key component in being innovative — echoing the growing understanding that boardroom and workplace diversity are essential to healthy innovation in every business. "London has such an eclectic mixture of tastes and food offerings; we are truly spoilt for choice with what we can offer our guests," he says.

Like any innovator, he says there is always a process of discovery with new creations. Dishes will be trialled as specials before graduating as sustainable features on the main menu. And that applies as much to ingredients and processes as it does to finished dishes.

"Anything that can make the final dish taste better, or perhaps improve the efficiency of how it is made or the way it is presented, must be fully embraced and championed," he says. "So I say: fully embrace what's new. If it works, then use it; if it doesn't, then simply move on."

Clearly, the diner's pleasure is the ultimate aim. But whether they're engineers or artists, innovators will also recognise Kermani's personal joy in making something new. "I love trying new techniques, ingredients and combinations; it is this innovation that enables you to constantly improve and become a better chef," he says. "There is no end to the learning when you are in the kitchen and it is this beautiful art that motivates me."

 

This article first appeared in issue 6 of Perspective, the magazine for Tata in Europe. Read the full issue of Perspective here