Millennium Seoul Hilton rolled out the red carpet for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived in the capital (May 18) for talks with South Korean President Park Guen Hye and to meet with the country’s business leaders. The Indian leader was on his Korean leg of his travel that included China and Mongolia. In preparation for the stay of Mr Modi, a vegetarian, the hotel specially flew in Chef Sanjay Tyagi from the famous Umerkot Indian Fine Dining Restaurant in Bangalore, India, to prepare meals personally for Mr. Modi and his 100-strong delegation during their stay.
Chef Tyagi arrived on May 14 and wasted no time in crafting the menu and dishes, including some of Mr. Modi’s personal favourites such as yogurt drinks, parathas or Indian flat bread, and Gujarati-style dal (a slightly sweetened yellow lentil curry cooked in the style of Gujarati, Prime Minister Modi’s home state).
Chef Tyagi is a familiar face at the hotel. He has been invited several times as Guest Chef to present his culinary talent at the hotel’s Indian Food Promotions. “He has also been a kind of VIP chef at events such as the annual Diwali Ball held with the Indian Embassy in Korea,” said Millennium Seoul Hilton’s General Manager Mr Eric Swanson. “So it was no debate to get him when the hotel found that it was going to host the Indian Prime Minister.”
Chef Tyagi began his career in 1995 at the Hyatt Regency Delhi, and was part of the opening team of its famous restaurant, “Dilli Ka Aangan.” He was the guest chef at the wedding banquet of the Sultan of Brunei, and has cooked for the Maharajas of Jodhpur and Mysore. His recipes and cuisine were also extensively covered by the media when he was invited by “Viceroy of India”, a famous Indian restaurant in Hong Kong that wanted his help with the restaurant.
When asked about his experience with the Indian Premier, Chef Tyagi said, “It was an honour to personally serve Prime Minister Modi. It is an experience that I will cherish all my life. I thank Millennium Seoul Hilton for this opportunity and for having faith in me on such a big occasion”.
On his philosophy with food, he said, “I combine creativity along with clear and clean taste buds to understand each flavour of my dishes. The rest depends on my guests who patronise my cuisine.”
That straight forward if frugal approach matched that of his Prime Minister who has eschewed ostentation. On his arrival, Mr Modi was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a Garam Masala Chai tea prepared by Chef Tyagi.
Millennium Seoul Hilton is part of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, subsidiary of property giant City Developments Limited. M&C and CDL are members of the Hong Leong Group Singapore.
**Enclosed in the following pages are photos of Prime Minister Modi’s visit and Chef Sanjay Tyagi.