Santosh Shah is the Executive Chef at the new craft Indian kitchen, Saffron Circle. Located in Swiss Cottage, Saffron Circle serves the most popular dishes from all over India, including chaats, small plates, kebabs, grilles, comforting curries, and biryanis. It is the first UK outpost from a successful US restaurant group Saffron Valley, which operates five restaurants in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Born and raised in a small village in Nepal called Karjanha, Chef Santosh moved to India at fourteen and took a job as a kitchen porter at a five-star hotel. Inspired by the chefs he worked with, Chef Santosh was promoted to tandoor assistant, which is where his love for food really began.
After 13 years of cooking in hotels in India and Montenegro, Santosh moved to the UK, starting his career at Dishoom, before moving onto Benares, working under Atul Kochar. He then spent two years at renowned City restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen, working with Vivek Singh, where he was given creative license to really experiment, being the first chef to introduce octopus to an Indian kitchen!
After two years at Cinnamon Chef Kitchen, Santosh moved on to become Executive Chef at Baluchi, a contemporary fine-dining Indian concept at the five-star LaLit Hotel in London, housed in the Grade II listed former St. Olave’s Grammar School’s Assembly Hall.
Nepalese food has not yet moved towards modern cooking but, hopefully, sooner or later I will take our forgotten and lost recipes over it. I always wanted to do something amazing in Nepalese cuisines and also had a dream to take them to another level. The reason behind, I am working with celebrity chefs’ restaurants is to learn the way they have made their cuisines world famous and have become celebrities in creating their cuisines and taking them globally. Believe me, I have learned so many things that very soon, I will be doing magic in Nepalese cuisines. I think London will be the best city for this, as modern Indian cuisines started from this place only, said Chef Santosh Shah.