Beholders of a 200-year-old legacy, taste-makers of exquisite Indian cuisine - The Qureshis – have defined the royal taste on India. They have not only kept alive age-old magic of taste, flavor, texture of Indian cuisine, but are also showcasing it to different parts of the world today. Padma Shri Imtiaz Qureshi The baton of the Qureshis’ success and their rise to glory begins with Padma Shri Imtiaz Qureshi, grand master chef of India. He was born over 70 years ago into a family of legendry chefs to the Mughal Emperors of India on 2 Feb 1929. For over 200 years, his ancestors were butchers and cooks to Awadhi nobility. Starting early, he learnt the skills of trade from his masters. The Qureshis were well-known in Lucknow. It was not until the 1970s when the ITC (then the Welcomgroup Sheraton) in Agra hired Imtiaz to help develop their Indian cuisine.
Imitaz joined taking on the formal surname Qureshi, forging the first of many Qureshi links to Indian dining. He soon became one of the best known chefs in the city. Soon, other brothers too followed. Shaukat worked at ITC in Agra and Chennai, Mumbai’s Searock Sheraton, the Holiday Inn and other places before briefly consulting for Punjab Grill. Mumtaz, who worked with Kwality group in Lucknow too joined the ITC. The brothers became established names after they helped launch ITC’s iconic restaurant Dum Pukht in 1988. The Qureshis rose to fame and glory. The Qureshis have contemporized Awadhi food for fresh and recent tastes and flavors without compromising on the character of the food. For this, Dum Pukht biryani is a classic example. Imtiaz took the traditional bulk cooking technique and adapted it to a la carte dining. Later, Imtiaz’s eldest son, Ishtiaque, owner of the Kakori House restaurants, made up his mind to make Awadhi cuisine more accessible. Ashfaque and Irfan, younger sons, who run a Delhi-based consultancy firm Grande Cuisines, have gone one step further by making their restaurants based on Awadhi cuisine. Ashfaque believes that one needs to reinvent the legacy. Pukhtaan is one of his brainchild and creations.
Mohammed Irfan Qureshi He is a scion of Qureshi family and joint director of Grand Cuisine of India. He worked with the ITC Hotels and had the privilege of being part of the Dum Cuisine being recreated by his father. Irfan has performed at festivals in USA, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Belgium, Mauritius, Singapore, Fiji, Kuala Lumpur, other parts of the world. He successfully launched Dum Pukht Maurya Sheraton, Delhi; Dum Pukht Searock Sheraton, Mumbai; Dum Pukht Grand Kakatiya Sheraton, Hyderabad; Agni Restaurant, Perth Australia.
Mohammed Ashfaque Qureshi A past-time foodie, he earned his name among the famous chefs and has the distinction of being the doyen of Indian food. Presently, he is the managing director of Grand Cuisines of India and has been showcasing food festivals in India and across the world. Ashfaque and brother Irfan have been celebrated chefs and created gourmet meals for many honorable guests like former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpaye. He joined ITC’s Welcomegroup Management Institute in 1991 and went on to become the youngest chef of ITC Hotels and joined Dum Pukth ITC Maurya in New Delhi.