Meet Ajith Ramakrishnan Head Chef, Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport.

Ajith Ramakrishnan is indeed a talented Head Chef at Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport, where he takes charge of operations at Vargas Restaurant & Bar. Within this role, he skilfully designs a menu that draws inspiration from the area’s top-notch local produce, making it accessible to both the hotel’s guests and the broader public. His culinary expertise and dedication to crafting exceptional dishes contribute to the restaurant’s reputation for delivering a remarkable dining experience.

Tell us a little bit about your industry history

I’ve spent over 15 years honing my skills in the culinary industry. My journey has taken me through various roles, from Executive Chef to Sous-Chef and Qualified Chef. I’ve had the privilege of working in three different countries known for their hospitality and exceptional products. This diverse experience has allowed me to develop unique concepts and successfully launch them. I’ve also had the opportunity to lead teams during the pre-opening phases.

Moreover, I have a strong educational background in hospitality management and a deep passion for international cuisine.

In 2008, I moved to London to pursue higher studies in culinary arts and earned a master’s degree. Additionally, I’ve completed several professional certificates related to food hygiene and safety to further enhance my knowledge. Following my studies, I worked in prestigious hotels in London, gaining invaluable experience. In 2017, I relocated to Australia to explore new opportunities and continue growing professionally. My journey with IHG began in 2019.

Where did your love of food come from?

My love for food undoubtedly stems from my parents. My mother is an exceptional cook who enjoys experimenting with dishes from various regions in India. My decision to pursue cooking as a profession was greatly influenced by my father, who provided unwavering support and encouragement.

Recommendations for favourite place to eat in Australia?

If you’re looking for a fantastic dining experience in Australia, I highly recommend Spice Temple in Melbourne.

How do you relax and unwind?

To relax and unwind, I thoroughly enjoy gardening and going camping. These activities allow me to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and connect with nature.

What’s the secret to a great kitchen?

In my opinion, the key to a successful kitchen is dedicated leadership. I adopt a coaching leadership style, encouraging my team to embrace new challenges and overcome obstacles.

What’s the one cooking implement/device you could not live without?

The one cooking tool I couldn’t imagine working without is undoubtedly my trusted chef knife.

What’s your favourite food?

My absolute favourite food has to be my mother’s recipes. There’s something truly special about homemade dishes that bring comfort and nostalgia to every bite.

“A great leader not only strives for the team’s success but also focuses on training and educating team members to enhance their skills.”

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