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Jiggs Kalra, Czar of Indian cuisine, has died

Kalra was the first Asian to be inducted in the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame

Rajiv Singh
Published: Jun 4, 2019 11:59:43 AM IST
Updated: Jun 4, 2019 01:46:07 PM IST

Jiggs Kalra, Czar of Indian cuisine, has diedJiggs Kalra
Image: 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.

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  • Dr. Arshiya Sethi

    I am saddened to hear of the passing of Jiggs Kalra. he had a brilliant vision and yet he was earthy and grounded. I worked with him on creating a cultural programme to accompany a thematic banquet that he had created around the unique idea then of the Frontier Mail. It remains till date one of the most fun and creative challenges, of weaving in train songs from Bollywood and folk songs from the regions the train passed. We laughed a lot I remember, with both of us digging into our heritage to get our favourites included. Jiggs created food based crucibles for joy, fun and laughter He will be long remembered and sorely missed. Rest in Peace, Jiggs. You dine with the Gods now!

    on Jun 5, 2019