Home Food Service Manu Chandra, Executive Chef and Entrepreneur

Manu Chandra, Executive Chef and Entrepreneur


Chandra is an Executive Chef and Entrepreneur, of two very distinct restaurants in Bangalore — a gastropub, Monkey Bar and LikeThatOnly restaurant . He is also the Executive Chef at Olive Beach, Bangalore.

His passion for food surfaced at a young age of 12, largely due to a family greatly inclined towards food, in terms of cooking, discussing and arguing on food. So his professional inclination towards food came naturally.

At St. Stephen’s College, he wrote, designed and helped photograph a book on fusion cuisine. Chandra enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Hyde Park, New York, where he apprenticed with some of the City’s most celebrated kitchens, including Restaurant Daniel, Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern, Café Centro, Jean Georges and Town and also opened the now legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan. Armed with top honours from CIA and a prestigious Sea Food Masters Award for the National Recipe Competition 2002, he travelled to Norway to work with the Michelin starred Chef Eyvind Hellstrom at Bagatelle, well before Nordic cuisine was even acknowledged globally.

A lover of slow cooking, Chandra leans towards painstakingly controlled and cooked things, a process that enables one to extract flavours and textures. On the flip side, he’s fond of incredibly fast cooking, which keeps the integrity of ingredients and freshness intact.

Late 2004, he returned to India, where he joined Olive Beach Bangalore as Chef de Cuisine. Under his culinary skills, Olive Beach in Bangalore, has won several awards and recognitions.

In 2006, he was featured on India Today’s list of Young Thievery. In 2007, Manu was selected as one of the ‘Top 10 Best Young Chefs’ in the Country by ‘Taste and Travel Magazine.’ Business Times and Food and Nightlife also rated Chandra as one of India’s 10 best chefs and he has been awarded the Golden Star Award for the ‘Most Admired Chef in India 2011’ category. He received accolades and appreciation from around the world, as one of the most promising and talented young chefs in India, namely in the New York Times and Time Magazine. He has also  been featured on the Elle Magazine’s hot list. Chandra has also written extensively on food and food trends for a cross section of publications including Forbes, BBB Good Food, The Week, India Today, Yahoo.com and The Times of India

Chandra in partnership with a long time colleague, Chetan Rampal and serial restaurateur, AD Singh, launched two new brands, Monkey Bar, a gastropub and LikeThatOnly, an Asian restaurant. These two brands were launched by a new company – Olive Cafes South Private Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary Olive Bar and Kitchen. This venture turned chef into an entrepreneur.

In a short span of a year and a half, the brands have been recognised both nationally and globally. LikeThatOnly was awarded the Best Pan Asian Restaurant at the Times Food Guide Awards in 2012. Monkey Bar has made it to Conde Nast Traveler UK’s Gold Standard List 2013, Time Out London, Singapore and Hong Kong’s best new bars in the world list as well as picking up the Time Nightlife Award for Best Bar in Bangalore 2012, within eight months of its operations.

Previous articleNew Spa Lounge at Cutting Edge Hair & Beauty Salon at Pullman Gurgaon
Next articleFashion Search Engine, Fashiola Launches in the UK
FoodService India Bureau provides a powerful platform for the Indian food service sector to share their views, exchange ideas and strengthen industry collaboration for profitable and healthy growth. It is loaded with industry research, trends, news, guest columns, and analysis to give market players cutting-edge insight into the dynamics of foodservice industry of India. The readership of FoodService India Bureau spans Restaurateurs, Hoteliers, Food Retail Start-Ups, Foodservice Retailers (Physical Eating Spaces) that include Restaurant Chains, Standalones, QSRs, Pubs & Bars, Cafes, Chain Hotels - (Restaurants & Banquets), Food Court Operators, Multiplexes; Travel Food Retail, Food Retail at Other Hubs, Institutional Catering, Street Food – Food Trucks, Vans & Carts; Foodservice Retailers that operate Cloud, Ghost, Virtual Kitchens; Online Foodservice Players/ Providers/ Aggregators. Functionally they are mostly MDs; EDs; CEOs; CTOs; CIOs; General Managers; Chief Purchase Officers; Chefs; Food & Beverage Heads; Store Managers; etc,. The above readership of FoodService India Bureau collaborates and exchanges inspiration and insights with peers, and actively engages with a vast array of support organisations that include General Contractors-Design & Build; Designers & Architects; Contractor/Suppliers of Food & Beverage Equipment + Fixtures, Furniture, Fittings, Capital Assets, etc.; Partners, Financers & Investors; Marketing & Efficiency Support Organisations; Consultants and experts in FS Formats, Trends, Cuisine Trends, Opportunities; Food Retail Tech Specialist Organisations; and Industry Associations working on broader interests of industry players and liaisoning within and with GoI. And also with Suppliers of consumables - Food, Beverage, Cutlery, Table Linen, Small Equipment, Disposables, Ingredients, Raw Material, other available for sale material, etc; Hospitality Training/ Hotel Management Institutes/ Recruitment & Training Organisations; Trend/Market-Footfall Research Agencies; Marketing Activation and Employee Recruitment, Training-Development Organisations. Note: FoodServiceIndia Bureau is also the digtal vehicle of the Indian edition of the well-respected FoodService Europe & Middle East magazine is a specialty B2B publication in the HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurants and Catering) sector in India. A bi-monthly print publication, FoodService India reaches out to key decision makers in the foodservice business in the country. For feedback, enquiries and/or editorial participation, please write to rajanvarma@imagesgroup.in