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Chef Santosh Shah’s Voice

‘Motivational and Inspiring Journey of Chef Santosh Shah’

Santosh was born in Karjanha, a small village in the south-eastern district of Siraha, near Nepal’s border with India. The youngest among seven children (two sisters and five brothers), he was just five when his father died. For pocket money when he was 10 he would sell plastic bags and other items at a local fair.

“With my friends, I used to walk up to 7km [about 4 miles] on foot, buy a few loaves of ‘pau roti’ [bread] and sell them at the fair,” Santosh recalls. “I also worked as a laborer at a canal construction project in my district.”
He managed to study up to class 10 when he was 15 but didn’t pass school leaving exams.
“I then went to Gujarat state in India along with friends from my village in search of a job,” Santosh said.
Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese people – from the hills and cities, as well as from the southern plains – head to India for work. Santosh began as a dishwasher at a local restaurant in Ahmedabad, the biggest city in Gujarat.

Then a food festival he organized made the news in India and brought his skills to wider attention. Shortly after, he got an unexpected call from a Gujarati businessman based in London who sent him a work permit and paid for his air fare and other expenses. Santosh arrived in London in late 2010.
This wasn’t the dream restaurant Santosh was looking for, however. So he left the job and joined Dishoom, one of a new wave of pioneering Indian restaurants winning plaudits in the UK. Later, he worked at Benares and Hotel Lalit in London, among others.
He is now working as a head chef at the Cinnamon Collection and also as executive chef at Saffron Circle UK.
“MasterChef has been an incredible and life-changing experience for me. I will continue to keep learning and experimenting to create unique Nepali dishes for global food lovers,” he says.
Given his background, his achievement in getting this far is certainly being noticed.
“Santosh is already a celebrity among the Nepali community in the UK as well as back home,” says Kul Acharya, owner of the Holy Cow fine-dining restaurant and takeaway chain in London, who also worked as a kitchen porter and chef before setting up his own business.

MasterChef shows are not aired directly in Nepal for copyright issues, so many Nepalese follow Santosh on social media and watch the show on YouTube.
He has received congratulatory messages from, among others, Binod Chaudhary, Nepal’s only dollar billionaire; and Prabal Gurung, a celebrity fashion designer originally from Nepal and now based in New York.
Whatever happens this week, the future seems bright for Santosh.
He recently met prospective investors to discuss launching a Nepali restaurant at the heart of London. “They were not interested at the beginning. But after I was selected to be on MasterChef, they have invited me for business meetings as soon as I am free.”
Santosh, who is still single, has another pressing priority too.

“This is a rare opportunity for me to showcase Nepali dishes and I will try my best to impress the judges.”

Chef Santosh Shah_Biography

Introduction:
Santosh Shah (Nepali: सन्तोष साह, born 5 November 1985) is a Nepali chef born and raised in Karjanha village in Siraha district of Nepal. He is the head chef at Cinnamon Kitchen London UK. He was the executive chef at The Lalit London.
He participated in MasterChef Professionals 2020 and became the first runner up. However, MasterChef Professionals fans praised him as ‘people’s champion’.
Early life
From humble beginnings on the streets of Nepal, to winning the nation’s hearts on Masterchef: The Professionals, chef Santosh Shah is putting Nepalese cuisine firmly on the map, with pride of his Nepalese nationality.
Santosh’s first culinary job was as a kitchen and commis chef in an Indian hotel when he was just 14. From then on, he worked tremendously hard, rising through the hospitality ranks in India, and eventually moving to the UK in 2010. Once in London, Santosh worked at some of the most renowned Indian kitchens, holding positions at Michelin-starred Benares restaurant and super trendy Dishoom, before becoming a Sous Chef at The Cinnamon Club and eventually Head Chef at its sister restaurant, Cinnamon Kitchen.
Career
Santosh worked at The Cinnamon Collection with Vivek Singh for three years, cooking for MP’s at The Cinnamon Club and City workers at Cinnamon Kitchen. He then took a position as Executive Chef at the five-star LaLit Hotel in London.
• Present :The Cinnamon Collection with Vivek Singh
• May 2018: The LaLiT London 5* Boutique Hotel – Baluchi Restaurant | A Pan Indian Destination
• February 2015 – April 2018: Cinnamon Club by Vivek Singh
• January 2014 – February 2015: Brasserie Blanc by Raymond Blanc
• February 2012- January 2014: Benares Restaurant, Berkeley Square, London, UK
• September 2011 – February 2012: Dishoom Bombay Café, Upper St.Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, UK
• April 2011 – September 2011: The Spicy Affair Restaurant, Croydon, UK
• December 2009 to April 2011: The Cambay Resort, Gujarat, India
• December 2008 to November 2009: Hotel Mediteran, Budva, Montenegro, Europe
• May 2005 to December 2008: Holiday Resort, Gandhidham, Gujarat, India
• September 2003 to February 2005: The Grand Bhagwati, Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India
• August 2002 to August 2003: Hotel Surya Palace, Baroda, Gujarat, India
• June 2000 to July 2002: Leo Resort, Junagadh, Gujarat, India
Awards
• British Curry Awards – Best in London City and Suburbs
• Conde Naste Johansens Awards for Excellence – Best Dining Experience in UK & Ireland, 2019

Education:
Diploma in Hotel & Catering Management IHCM, Baroda, Gujarat, India August 2002 to August 2003
I.A. (10+2 Arts) A.N. College, Patna, Bihar, India
What’s Next?
What’s next? Santosh is looking forward to the future and what it may hold. His goal is to open a Nepalese restaurant in London and be awarded a Michelin star. For now, he will continue working on his skills, and learning from his mentors, to continue bettering himself and his cooking.

Santosh Shah Journey in Masterchef:

Getting to finals week of MasterChef: The Professionals is a dream come true for Santosh Shah.
The Nepali chef now based in London wowed the judges on his way to making the week’s final six.
Cooking for celebrity chef Andrew Wong, Santosh impressed with his stunning take on dim sum – his Yomari dumplings from Nepal were stuffed with chocolate, cashew nuts and chilli, topped with orange and cinnamon.
Santosh went on to cook a second dish for the judges – crispy chilli chicken, Indo-Chinese style, with crispy lotus roots, seaweed and vegetable pickles, served with hot and sour soup and crispy noodles.
The judges were so impressed that they announced his food was the best dish of the day and sent Santosh straight through to the finals round.
Always wanted to bring Nepali cuisine to the world stage and this show has given me this opportunity,” Santosh told the BBC.

The show has also turned him into a celebrity back home in Nepal, where he has been interviewed by top TV shows and his face is all over national media.

Santosh is not the first contestant to say Master Chef is very tough.
“We have to be mentally strong, we are timed, and put under immense pressure. I practice each dish numerous times in advance,” he said.
“Then there is the pressure of the camera and the judges are quite demanding. The competition is getting tighter and more demanding as chefs get eliminated in each round.”

Chef Santosh Shah’s Achievement

“MasterChef has been an incredible and life-changing experience for me. I will continue to keep learning and experimenting to create unique Nepali dishes for global food lovers,” he says.
Given his background, his achievement in getting this far is certainly being noticed.
“Santosh is already a celebrity among the Nepali community in the UK as well as back home,” says Kul Acharya, owner of the Holy Cow fine-dining restaurant and takeaway chain in London, who also worked as a kitchen porter and chef before setting up his own business.
“Though the South Asian community is well-established in the UK, for a Nepali chef to make it to the MasterChef finals is extraordinary.”
MasterChef shows are not aired directly in Nepal for copyright issues, so many Nepalese follow Santosh on social media and watch the show on YouTube.
He has received congratulatory messages from, among others, Binod Chaudhary, Nepal’s only dollar billionaire; and Prabal Gurung, a celebrity fashion designer originally from Nepal and now based in New York.
Whatever happens this week, the future seems bright for Santosh.
He recently met prospective investors to discuss launching a Nepali restaurant at the heart of London. “They were not interested at the beginning. But after I was selected to be on MasterChef, they have invited me for business meetings as soon as I am free.”

Nepali chef Santosh Shah becomes runner up in the Masterchef Professionals finals
LONDON, Dec 18: Nepali chef Santosh Shah came in third place on the UK’s most prestigious cookery show, Masterchef: The Professionals on BBC One.
Santosh captivated both the judges and audience with his show-stopping Nepalese cuisine and inspiring journey.
“I always wanted to bring Nepalese cuisine to the world stage and now this show has give

Chef Shah Receives a Grand Welcome in TIA

BBC MasterUK professionals 2020 Runner UP chef Santosh Shah receives grand welcome in TIA this 25th Feb 2021 here at Kathmandu Nepal .
Chef Santosh made history by becoming the first ever Nepali to reach the finale of MasterChef Uk 2020, and was declared the runner-up.
Penguin Books will be Publishing his book in 5 different languages, and he plans to travel to different parts of Nepal for research.

Chef Santosh was greeted by 100s of well-wishers including several Nepali chefs and students from IHM College and executive members of i am with chef and members from different chef’s Organization.

Students of IHM college were present with Nepali flags welcoming Chef Santosh, Bikram Dangol (IHM College) told Nepalisite. Despite having worked in India for 10 years learning and moving up in the food business, he did not compete in MasterChef Uk 2020 as an Indian Chef and introduce Indian foods in the contest. He could easily have done that and even increase his chances to win because Indian is a lucrative market for any international business. Instead, he showcased variety of Nepali dishes and wowed the judges and won the hearts of many.

ihm college & i am with chef welcomes to Chef Shah

Kathmandu, March 5: Popular chef Santosh Shah has made Nepal proud through his hard work and perseveration. Recently shah finished first runner-up in the BBC Television competitive cooking show, Master Chef: The Professionals, which has helped Nepal known to the world.

Following this achievement, Shah known as ‘king of cooking’ has garnered popularity not only in Nepal but also across the world. Congratulatory messages were pouring in for him.

Shah has heightened image of Nepal to the world by providing the country’s indigenous dishes to the globe. “There is no difficulty to get success in the world. Just hard work is needed. I have made a plan to promote Nepal’s typical dishes across the world,” shared an elated Shah, who today landed in Nepal following this achievement.

He was talking to media-persons at Tribhuvan International Airport shortly after landing here from the UK. Operating a restaurant each in the UK and Nepal is his recent plan on the table. “Hard work is a secret of my success. We try to be happy with whatever we have.”

Obviously, he went through a journey of struggle to reach this situation. I did struggle a lot in my life. “I used to sell plastic bags and bread at a point in time. Now I am happy with whatever achievement I have got,” he shared.

He said that he arrived Nepal to learn more from Nepali chefs as he started to prepare Nepali food only from two years ago.
Shah said, “Our food habit is not so hygienic. I want to request all to have warm food and only drink bottle water.”

I had never expected that I, an ordinary Nepali, could get such big success. There is no recognition to chef and food in the country. He started journey of struggle with an objective of doing something in this sector, added Shah.

He opined, “Though I worked in India for 10 years as chef, now I got success as I had thought doing something for the recognition of Nepali food and Nepal.”

“Now, there will be quality in Nepali food and the country can also make income by publishing the indigenous Nepali dishes,” he opined.
Shah is publishing a book ‘Cook Book’ in five languages. He said that he arrived in Nepal for the activities related to the book publication. A world-wide roadmap of food has been prepared and the campaign would be started from London, he said.

“There is no chef culture in Nepal but it is possible,” the king of cooking, Shah hoped.

Shah, who arrived in Nepal at the initiative and facilitation of the Pacific Asia Travel association (PATA) Nepal Chapter, will be in the country for about a month. He will be the key-note speaker in the 44th annual general meeting of PATA.

Shah will also participate in the programs to be organized by other tourism organizations including Nepal tourism Board (NTB).

Photo : Ratopati.com
– Sourse: Rising Nepal daily

NATHM felicitates to chef Santosh Shah

Master Chef Santosh Shah has participated in facilitation program , organized by Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management NATHM, Kathmandu , Nepal on 3rd March 2021 .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nk7hv_xXx4
NATHM has given huge tribute to chef Santosh shah , who is also runner up , of BBC Masterchef UK Professionals 2020
Along with Chef Shah, other chefs including NATHM’s graduates making mark in the hospitality and other sectors were also honoured .
Students of NATHM welcomes to chef Santosh with traditional hospitality and DHAKATOPI.
Team NATHM has congratulated to chef Santosh for his outstanding contribution for promoting Nepalese food in international reality show .
NATHM which is preparing itself to attract students from the SAARC Region, BIMSTEC nations and China, bagged appreciation from Shah that its infrastructures are world-class and was impressed with the overall management.
Dipak Kumar Thapa, Executive Director of NATHM said, “The management is grateful to Shah for paying a visit to the college as it will encourage students to learn different aspects of hospitality from such a prominent figure.”

Photo credit : Breaknlinks.com

chef shah awarded

Nepal Government has honored to Masterchef Santosh Shah, Runner Up , BBC Master Chef UK Professionals 2020 here at Nepal Tourism Board , Kathmandu , Nepal on 2nd March 2021.
The program organized by NTB, chef santosh shah is honored by Secretary of Tourism ministry and the CEO of NTB . During the program , Hotel association of Nepal ( HAN ) and Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal ( REBAN ) has also appreciated to Chef santosh shah.
“I will be greatfull , if our government will take copy right of my bbc masterchef shows and broadcast in nepalese channel ” chef santosh made his request .

https://www.facebook.com/ihmcollege/videos/172214947862839

chef santosh shah back in motherland

IHM College in association with i am with chef has honored to Chef Santosh Shah, Runner Up , BBC Master Chef UK Professionals 2020 at Tribhuwan International Airport , Kathmandu on 25th feb 2021 .

hundred of culinary students from ihm college and all the executive members of i am with chef have given huge tribute by chef santosh’s statue , chef santosh’s flages and national anthem in his arrival at TIA .
” i am really blessed and much happy’ said santosh to press , he further said , “the country is understanding the value of chefs nowdays ”
” Coming 5 years more then 50 chef santosh will born ” chef santosh added . During the press meet , he shared his plan for promoting Nepalese cuisine in international areana.

Chef Santosh Arrives at Kathmandu Airport Thursday 25th February 2021 at 11:15am 

 For the first time in two years, Nepalese-native Chef Santosh Shah will be visiting Nepal following his success on UK’s Master Chef: The Professionals 2020. Santosh will arrive in Kathmandu Airport at 11:15am and will be greeted by the Nepal Tourism Board; the Global Academy of Tourism & Hospitality Education; and The Voice of Chefs alongside a traditional Nepalese instrumental welcome. Santosh will be a keynote speaker at the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s 44th Annual General Meeting in Kathmandu on 5th March 2021 and will also be honoured with the PATA Personality of the Year Award on the occasion, which Chef is very much looking forward to.

During his two-month long stay, Santosh will be travelling to various places of Nepal, sourcing new ingredients and trying regional dishes as research for his upcoming cookbook. He added, I am very very excited to spend some much-needed quality time with his entire family including his mother.

Graduation Ceremony @Kathmandu Marriott

Even though many celebration have been postponed and cancelled, due to the Corona virus pandemic, Graduation is still a major milestone to celebrate. It’s also the beginning of a brand new chapter of life. With all the excitement for all you’ve achieved and all the possibilities that lay ahead, it also marks an ending and a lot of unknown for what the future will hold.

We, IHM College would like to show our gratitude to our next tomorrows chef through this Graduation ceremony. The happiness in graduates faces are what we search for and what we look for.

Best wishes to all graduates and wish you all to follow your passion and hope one day we see you in a Reputed company’s White Coat with Black Bottom.