InterContinental Hotels Group has introduced two new celebrity chefs to its culinary panel, an initiative whereby renowned chefs develop signature dishes for IHG’s restaurants across Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA).
Vikas Khanna’s heads up fine dining Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, Junoon, in New York City, while Chef Takagi Kazuo is famed for his two Michelin star restaurant in Osaka and will supply seasonal Kyo-style Japanese cuisine to the programme.
Alan Watts, chief operating officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG said: “With the addition of Chef Vikas and Chef Takagi our IHG Culinary Panel represents seven celebrated chefs, a myriad of exceptional cuisines and an opportunity to discover even more authentic flavours and tastes.
“We are constantly evolving our culinary proposition for guests, continuing to raise the bar and bolster our hotels’ reputation as world class dining destinations.
“Our philosophy is to work with partners that represent the best of food and beverage in order to offer new options and programmes that encourage our guests to explore and enjoy new culinary experiences, which includes our Bar150 mixology platform with Pernod Ricard as well as our new Penfolds partnership to expand exclusive wine options at InterContinental hotels and resorts.”
The seven IHG Culinary Ambassadors on the panel are all award-winning chefs and represent a diverse range of cuisines: Indian by Vikas Khanna, Japanese by Takagi Kazuo, Italian by Theo Randall, Thai by Ian Kittichai, Chinese by Sam Leong, Modern Australian by Ross Lusted and bakery and pastry by Dean Brettschneider.
Each Culinary Ambassador has created 20 recipes ranging from appetisers to main courses and desserts.
Guests can enjoy a selection of these dishes in select restaurants at InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels and resorts in the region.
For IHG, Chef Vikas will create dishes such as his signature 7-Spice Lamb Shank, made with a medley of spices, in a burgundy-hued curry that coats the slow-braised meat and his Tellicherry Duck Breast, a classic Indian duck dish spiced with long pippali peppercorns from southern India and balanced with a creamy coconut-milk sauce.
Speaking about his new role as an IHG Culinary Ambassador, Chef Vikas commented: “Food and dining is constantly evolving and it’s important to keep pushing the bar at being more innovative and creative yet building the essence of fine dining and luxury.
“The dishes that I want people to enjoy are often contemporary reinventions of classic Indian dishes, and being able to share these more widely through the IHG Culinary Panel is a fantastic way to get people even more excited by the exotic Indian cuisine beyond the clichéd and standard.”
Chef Takagi’s Kyo style cooking, which has its roots in the Kyoto prefecture of Japan, is recognised for its seasonal dishes.
He will offer his signature Japanese Pepper Beef with Foie Gras Dengaku, a beef sirloin with pan-fried foie gras, topped with Japanese pepper and miso paste and his Potato Salad, made with steamed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, shrimps and edible flowers.
The company currently operates more than 800 restaurants and bars in AMEA with more than 250 hotels open across six brands in the region.
InterContinental Dubai Marina opened for business two days ago and houses several F&B outlets including YNot, a wine and tapas bar; Accents, a restaurant and deli; as well as Ginter a gin bar with one of Dubai’s largest gin collections, Gallery Lounge and Urban Shisha Lounge.
The Marina Social restaurant marks British, Michelin-starred chef, Jason Atherton's first in the Middle East, and is set to open in September 2015.