Durban-raised chef Sheldon Raju is on a journey through India to find the origins of the country’s cuisine and trace the influence it’s had on the South African palate. We’re following him as he makes his way through the streets of Bangalore, takes romantic train rides to Madurai, dines at temples of old, explores Mumbai’s flavours, and so much more, all in the name of rediscovering the essence of Indian food.
Raju’s love for the art of cooking was developing during his childhood, thanks to the time he spent with his grandfather – whom he credits as his inspiration and dedicates his passion to – at the community temple. This is where his dream to become a chef was formed, leading to him studying to become a chef in Kwa-Zulu Natal and subsequently being mentored by renowned chefs Eric Bullitt of Jardine Restaurant on Bree Street in Cape Town, and award-winning David Higgs of Five Hundred in Johannesburg. Sheldon has also worked as a senior sous chef at Chefs Warehouse, working for Liam Tomlin in Cape Town.
“I have decided to return to my roots and take a culinary sabbatical to the shores of India; exploring the heart and soul of South Indian cuisine and its influence on the South African palate, explains Sheldon. The expedition will serve as a “muse” for the restaurant he plans to open in Cape Town in 2017, so be sure to see it all unfold on our social media pages.
We’ll be sharing his journey on Instagram with the hashtag #WhereIsSheldon. Be sure to see it all unfold there.