|Address:||Olive Bar & Kitchen, Pali Hill Tourist Hotel, Union Park 14, Khar(W), Mumbai 400052|
In November 2000 AD Singh and his partners opened a rustic hideaway in Mumbai, where food, drink, laughter and conversation gently merged in a Mediterranean melting pot of warm sunshine and good company. Designed by noted interior designer Nozer Wadia, it soon became an overnight sensation and won recognition both across India and on an international level.
The ambience couldn't be better - Al fresco dining, candles and old-fashioned lanterns. Melt into a chair and soak in the atmosphere, hang out the bar with your favourite cocktail, or then settle down to a languid meal with soft jazz and world music playing in the background. Here's a space transformed and morphed so ingeniously.
The menu crafted by Chef Manu Chandra at Olive Mumbai is a truly gourmet experience. Fresh flavours and herbs unite with ingredients sourced and skillfully prepared from gastronomic styles of the Mediterranean coastline. This culminates into a palate pleasing, innovative cuisine that is undoubtedly unmatched and achieves a perfect balance between contemporary Mediterranean fare and traditional comfort food. The emphasis is on freshness and unrivaled quality of the ingredients and the focus lies in its creative presentation.
Born on 26th December 1985, Thomas Zacharias’ culinary adventure began, like many of the world’s most famous chefs, in his grandmother’s kitchen. In was at her humble stove in Kochi, Kerala where he learnt to appreciate spice, flavor and the finer nuances of cooking and baking.
Graduating from his ammamma’s kitchen, he enrolled at the prestigious Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) in Manipal in 2003. Here, he organised several food festivals and even represented his college at various competitions. He was part of the four member team that won the Overall Championship Trophy at the The National Level Inter-Collegiate Culinary and Management Skill Competition, organised by Christ College in 2005.
Thomas graduated top of his class in 2007, with a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management, and received the T M A Pai University Gold Medal for Best Outgoing Student. He then began training with some of India’s leading hospitality groups, including the Taj, Oberoi, and ITC. Yet, in just a few months he realised that he was still unseasoned to take on the culinary world. To further his skill and knowledge, he enrolled at the renowned Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in October 2007.
For Thomas, America was a food journey. He earned the much sought after title of Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, La Papillote, during his final year at CIA. This position allowed him to interact with some of the greatest chefs in the world, including the legend Ferran Adria, owner and chef of El Bulli. During his tenure as Editor, Thomas worked tirelessly to take the newspaper to greater heights of quality campus journalism and received an award for his dedicated service to the publication in 2009.
Thomas also had the opportunity to earn apprenticeships in some of the finest restaurants in New York City: Bouley, Jean Georges, and Aldea. He completed a four month externship at the one Michelin starred restaurant Cru, under the guidance of Chef Shea Gallante. He was also selected to represent the CIA as a Student Honor Delegate at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Salute to Excellence held at Chicago in May 2009.
Thomas graduated with High Honours from The Culinary Institute of America in 2009. He was the valedictorian of his class, winning three of the four awards given, including the Leadership Award, Academic Achievement Award and the Management Award. In addition to these, he was also awarded the President’s Scholarship for highest Grade Point Average and was featured on the Dean’s List for three consecutive years.
Soon after graduating, Thomas found himself a spot in the kitchen of the highly renowned three star Michelin restaurant Le Bernardin, in New York City, considered to be the best seafood restaurant in America and one of the finest restaurants in the world. Here, he gained valuable experience under Chef Eric Ripert and worked his way up the various stations in the kitchen.
But his food journey was still not complete. He moved back to India late 2010 and began searching for the ‘right’ job. A kitchen where he could exploit his full potential, learn and grow. Executive Chef Manu Chandra, a fellow CIA alumnus who has already garnered national acclaim, hired him instantly and Olive Beach, Bangalore, became Thomas’ new home.
After training in Bangalore for five months, Thomas was ready to move kitchens. In April 2011, he joined the Mumbai team at Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra. Since then, he has worked closely with Chef Manu, developing the new a la carte menu currently served at the restaurant.
As Sous Chef, Thomas manages kitchen operations on a daily basis, handles special guest requests and ensures quality and consistency in the food. And every day, his adventure with food continues.