We all journey with food – from childhood summer vacations in my grandmother’s home to an exciting first date in Chicago to a family wedding with three generations in Chennai, India. For my family, food is the language of love and memory. My Indian parents were ex-pats living in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar, where I spent my childhood before moving to the United States. Breakfast on Sunday mornings shows the union of my family’s Indian heritage with their adopted Arab palates: Bombay Omelets, Humus, Ful, Halomi cheese, and warmed Pita.
A series of unique events gave birth to my culinary journey, starting with the financial crash of 2008. After studying Finance in college and working in the banking industry for 6 years, I joined the ranks of the unemployed. I recall feeling defeated and doubting any accomplishments I had in my life up until then. However, being the son of immigrants, I pushed forward and found myself immersed in the up-and-coming world of Social Media Marketing. I've always had this magnetic relationship with food, so it wasn't surprising that I found myself working with clients in Chicago's Restaurant Industry.
Following a passion that fell outside the prescribed norms was never really an option growing up, so having one that pulled so strongly at my soul was really something that was unfamiliar to me. But after years of neglect, in 2014 I dedicated myself full time to the culinary arts. After starting at the bottom, I worked my way up the ranks at the Pumproom by Jean George to Sous Chef. This experience introduced me to techniques that served as a foundation for my career going forward. This past year, I had the opportunity to work at Thomas Keller’s 1 Michelin Star Restaurant Bouchon in Yountville, CA. I got to further my experience while completing an Apprenticeship at Gaggan, in Bangkok, Thailand. The culture I was surrounded by along with the talented Chefs I got to work with every day really helped mold what I one day look forward to achieving in my own kitchen. Cooking at that level is difficult, but it is truly a blessing and a privilege-- it will be a time I will never forget.
We now offer service as Wazwan both at UIC and U of C in their respective dining halls. Lilac Tiger offers Wazwan classic hits and a full South Asian bar program at 1742 W Division St. Coach House offers 5 and 8 course tasting menus, with reservations able to be made on Tock.
We look forward to serving you!