Atif Mansuri – A Chef in the Making!

Executive Chef Atif Mansuri brings the most relishing, aromatic, and exotic tastes of Mughlai cuisine onto the tables of Delhi Darbar at Colaba Causeway. Having skilled in culinary schools in Switzerland, London and Dubai, the third generation chef and restaurateur blends himself into the world renowned Kitchens of Delhi Darbar at Colaba Causeway.

Having started young at 16, Atif had a passion for cooking, and soon embarked onto a journey of blending the spices learnt from his grandfather’s traditional cooking styles of early 1900’s. After graduating from Jai Hind College in Mumbai, Atif began his culinary journey from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management & then went on further to hotel management school in Switzerland namely the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne. After completion of his degree, he worked his way up into his family business by experiencing himself with international brands such as Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, Jumeriah Group, and the renowned Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Besides he has worked in several restaurants in London, New York, and Dubai as well as the Emirates Abela Flight Kitchen

Chef Atif says, “The talent and expertise one possesses cannot be learnt from a cookbook, but you need to have the passion to serve.”

In an era of multi-cuisine culture, Atif has an endless list of satisfied guests from diplomats to Bollywood personalities and believes in serving the most authentic Indian cuisine. He believes that theoretical knowledge is vital but practical experience knowledge & exposure upbeats the theoretical knowledge. To spread the magic of the ethnic Indian Mughlai cuisine, he plans to expand its reach in west and metro cities of India. Atif dreams to move on with offering the most exotic Indian cuisines in the most authentic styles of preparations to food lovers around the globe.

Looking at the increased popularity of the health, food and nutrition industry, he is skilled with dietary and nutrition credentials to further enhance his food quality for health conscious customers.

Although his father runs the restaurant empire, Atif works as any other ordinary worker in the restaurant. Atif is assisted by his younger brother Arafat who looks after the finance and administration aspects of the food and beverage business in Mumbai and Gulf cities. He also at an early age is actively involved in day to day activities and work in close co ordination with his elder brother.

Atif overlooks preparation of a range of dishes every morning using myriad spices and his experienced & vibrant culinary skills. “My Grandfather left a secret legacy where he added every ingredient with a great thought and passion for food, today it is my obligation to preserve and share it with you.” says the Executive Chef Atif Mansuri. His favorite dish to serve is the one which is the most sought after dish of Delhi Darbar, the Original Mutton Biryani, where semi cooked rice and mutton are cooked together in the same pot. The Famous Delhi Darbar Biryani is then put to cook using the traditional Dum technique whereby steam and pressure is created in the vessel which is strictly overseen constantly to enhance the flavor. This ‘Dum’ cooking is performed under intense uniform heat using charcoal. Besides Biryani, Butter Chicken, Khichda and Dabba Gosht are amongst his personal Favorite.

His credo is simple, “Every meal at Delhi Darbar should be a Celebration.”

This article appeared in Global Indians in 2009.