The Pierre, A Taj Hotel
New York City, New York
Executive Chef Ashfer Biju
Ashfer Biju brings a worldly vision inspired by regional ingredients to the culinary program at The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, where he oversees all food outlets as Executive Chef—including Perrine restaurant and The Rotunda, both opened in 2016, as well as Two E Bar & Lounge, 24-hour In-Room Dining and weddings and gala dinners in the hotel's six event spaces. He manages a team of 50 cooks and seven sous chefs that, during the busy season, serve up to 5,000 people per day.
Chef Ashfer leads the preparation for catered events, with elevated contemporary cuisine cooked to the minute and all plated like New York's top restaurants. The Pierre is renowned for the customization and personal interaction it offers to brides and their families. Chef along with Executive Banquet Chef Tomasz Surowka and Executive Pastry Chef Michael Mignano meet with every bride to design their dream menu.
Chef Biju was raised in a family of restaurateurs near Kerala, India, and grew up with a passion for seafood. This passion paved the way for a successful career in hospitality. After earning his hospitality degree in India, Biju found his burgeoning career taking him all over the globe—from the Culinary Institute of America to kitchens in Napa Valley, the Maldives, Jean-Georges in London, and throughout Southeast Asia—all for the sake of staging, working, and learning. He went on to become what he considers a “pre-opening specialist” in the hotel field, with experience launching or rebranding seven hotel properties and developing roughly 16 restaurant concepts.
Chef Ashfer's passions from childhood, classical training and knowledge of French cooking have made him the perfect candidate to lead The Pierre's complex culinary program. He has created a refreshing balance of innovative creations and classics representative of beloved dishes from The Pierre’s vintage menus. He remains dedicated to keeping all menus seasonal by sourcing the best local and regional ingredients.
"Incorporating fresh ingredients is easy here in New York because you have so many sustainable options to choose from," says Chef Ashfer. "In addition to regularly visiting Farmers' Markets, I also spend time at the key farms we work with, connecting with our food and beverage partners regularly every season."
The Pierre's culinary brigade still brings in fresh vegetables daily, all prepared in the original prep area designed by Charles Pierre and Chef August Escoffier. The kitchen has retained the same footprint--including a butcher shop--
and circulation since the hotel's opening in 1930, with its location at the center of the hotel. All meats and fish are cut and prepped on site.
When he’s not researching cultures and cuisines, the Long Island resident enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and kids, going on fruit-picking excursions, and engaging in social media.
Phone: (212) 838-8000