Czar of Indian Cuisine, Chef Jiggs Kalra Passes Away at 71

Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra, fondly remembered as Jiggs Kalra, a celebrated chef and culinary revivalist, known as the Czar of Indian Cuisine passed away early morning this Tuesday. He was 71.

Announcing his father’s demise, the iconic chef’s restaurateur son Zorawar Kalra said that his father was his mentor, inspiration and biggest hero. In an illustrious career spanning over four decades, he had been instrumental in reviving some of the indigenous lost recipes as well as cooking styles while introducing Indian cuisine to the international audiences.

“He worked tirelessly towards promoting his beloved Indian cuisine globally and felt a personal responsibility towards it. I have lost my beloved father but Indian cuisine has lost one of its great ambassadors. His demise will make our resolve and sense of duty towards Indian cuisine even stronger.” Zorawar said.

It is interesting to note that Jiggs Kalra started off his career as a journalist before moving to give new dimensions to his passion for Indian Cuisine. He has always been very particular about how and in what quantity the Indian dishes should be savored and what health benefits it brought as a wholesome diet more than just a treat for the taste-buds. He brought into light the health benefits of spices, way of cooking and assorted ingredients, breaking many myths about Indian food. No wonder, other countries have inducted Indian food and cuisine as part of their diet now when they know what they were losing on. Thanks to veterans like Jiggs Kalra.

Among the delicacies that Kalra introduced were the Kababs served in the erstwhile royal kitchens of India, most notable being the ‘Galouti’. Being a food columnist and author, gastronome, food consultant, anchor of television programs and a restaurateur, were other feathers in his cap.

In 1997, the Govt. of India appointed him as advisor to the India Trade Promotion Organization. Over the past 3 years, he served as a Mentor and Culinary Director at Massive Restaurants, under which he launched award winning restaurant concepts like Masala Library by JIggs Kalra, Made in Punjab, Farzi Caf, and Pa Pa Ya.

Not only India but whole of the world will always remember him as the ultimate ‘Taste-Maker of India’ – The title conferred to him by famous journalist and author, Khushwant Singh.

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