Celebrated chef, food columnist, author and restaurateur Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra, popularly known as Jiggs Kalra, passed away early morning on Tuesday in New Delhi. He was 72.
Announcing his father’s demise, the chef's restaurateur son Zorawar Kalra said, “I have lost my beloved father but Indian cuisine has lost one of its great ambassadors. His death will make our resolve and sense of duty towards Indian cuisine even stronger."
The author of over 11 books on Indian cuisine, Kalra was known for reviving indigenous lost recipes as well as cooking styles while introducing Indian cuisine to international audiences. Among the delicacies that Kalra introduced were the kebabs served in the ancient royal kitchens of India, most notably the Galouti kebab.
Kalra was also behind the Punjab Grill in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore in addition to a number of other highly successful restaurant chains like Made in Punjab, Farzi Cafe, Pa Pa Ya and Masala Library.
Indian Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, tweeted his condolences saying, “Foodies & connoisseurs of fine dining will miss legendary & popular restaurateur Jiggs Kalra, the undisputed Czar of lip smacking culinary delights. I am sure he must already be cooking up a feast in heaven. RIP.”
Food critic, Vir Sanghvi also expressed his grief at Kalra’s passing on Twitter, saying “Goodbye old friend.The great Jiggs Kalra who did so much to rediscover the lost secrets of Indian food and who gave chefs their rightful place in the sun goes off to that great kitchen in the sky to ensure that the gods eat his wonderful food.There will never be another Jiggs”
The "czar of Indian cuisine", as he was popularly known, was the first Asian to be inducted into the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame. Kalra also represented India at various international food festivals and summits.