Jiggs KalraImage: Prabhas Roy/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Jiggs Kalra, the ‘Czar of Indian cuisine,’ passed away this morning, reportedly after a prolonged illness. He was 72. The pioneering restauranteur, food writer and consultant was instrumental in introducing Indian cuisine to an international audience, reviving lost ancient cuisines of the country and elevating age-old delicacies such as the kebabs, served in the erstwhile royal kitchens of India.
The first Asian to be inducted in the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame, Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra--popularly knows as Jiggs--had many firsts to his credit. He was the first to conceptualise and host an Indian food based television series. Apart from being one of the firsts to be part of the Indian state contingent across various state visits abroad, Kalra had the privilege of serving political heavyweights such as Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bill Clinton.
Over the past three years as the mentor and culinary director at Massive Restaurants, Kalra was instrumental in launching multi-award winning restaurant concepts like Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, Made in Punjab and Farzi Café and Pa Pa Ya. He also authored over 11 titles on Indian cuisine, including ‘Prashad
,’ which is also billed as 'the bible' for chefs.’
His son and daughter-in-law, Zorawar and Dildeep Kalra, are now taking his food legacy forward with Massive Restaurants.