Shefs At The Leela

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts reinforces its commitment to fostering equity in the kitchens with the evolution of 'Shefs at The Leela' into a culinary development programme

Celebrates the launch with the 5th edition of 'Shefs at The Leela' at The Leela Palace Jaipur.

India, 18th March 2024: The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts announced the launch of the ‘Shefs at The Leela’ Programme as a structured culinary development programme for aspiring lady chefs. The programme is not just a stepping stone to a job in the hospitality industry but a firm foundation for a career with The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts in the field of culinary arts. 

On the proud occasion of International Women’s Day 2024, the ‘Shefs at The Leela’ programme was unveiled at the 5th edition of the 'Shefs at The Leela’ event that took place on the 8th and 9th March 2024 at The Leela Palace Jaipur. This 2-day event, featured a grand gala dinner at Mohan Mahal, where a six-course menu was expertly curated by globally renowned women chefs - Chef Rasika Mythily Venkatesa, Chef Tashyaa Mehrotra, and Chef Tejasvi Chandela.

Since its inception in 2022, 'Shefs at The Leela,' an innovative platform celebrating women chefs in partnership with Dean with us, has successfully hosted editions at The Leela Palaces in Bengaluru and Chennai, The Leela Ambience Gurugram, and The Leela Bhartiya City. This initiative was introduced to promote equity in the kitchens. The programme provides opportunities for ladies who have studied hotel management or reputed culinary programme for a minimum period of one year. And aspire to work as chefs and women keen to see their entrepreneurial dreams come to life. Serving as a platform for women achievers in the culinary realm, "Shefs at The Leela", aims to nurture ambitions, offering growth opportunities that help women fulfil their culinary aspirations.

Anuraag Bhatnagar, Chief Executive Officer of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts said, "We at The Leela are committed towards building an equitable work environment, that celebrates diversity and nurtures equity. 'Shefs at The Leela' was conceptualized as a platform that appreciates the achievements of women in hospitality and builds a community that will inspire, encourage and nurture diversity in our kitchens. With this pioneering initiative and the overwhelming response it has received, we are now  evolving this into a concrete and structured culinary development programme that will not only solve for a need for diverse and skilled talent  within the kitchens but also create a springboard for aspiring women chefs to follow their passions and fulfil their aspirations to  carve a niche for themselves within the industry.”

The Shefs at The Leela Programme certified by The Leela, is designed to provide an opportunity to aspirants to grow personally and professionally. The aspirants are groomed through a combination of academic study and comprehensive on-the-job training. The objective of the programme is to develop the next generation of culinary experts in bakery and confectionary, continental, Indian, and oriental cuisines, who will continue to practice and nurture the organisation’s people-focused approach to achieve service excellence.

In addition to the core curriculum, The Leela will organize quarterly 'Shefs at The Leela' events to cultivate a vibrant culinary community. These gatherings will encompass various activities, such as masterclasses led by industry experts, panel discussions with renowned chefs, and curated dinners prepared by celebrated women chefs. The events will also include the recognition of outstanding achievements through awards.

The 2 year 'Shefs at The Leela' Programme is structured into two phases, beginning in Quarter 3 of 2024. Freshers are eligible to join in Phase One, and depending on calibre, professionals can apply for Phase Two. The initial 12-month phase focuses on developing a foundation of culinary skills and knowledge. The subsequent 12-month phase is dedicated to building and advancing culinary skills and acumen, including shadowing executive chefs.

The applicants are selected through a trade test and a well-rounded  evaluation process. The 'Shefs at The Leela' Programme offers several benefits, including certification by The Leela upon programme completion. Graduates of the programme receive priority consideration for internal transfers and career advancement. 'Shefs at The Leela' associates will serve as brand ambassadors of the programme, attending 'Shefs at The Leela' events and initiatives as required. 

Further, upon completing the 'Shefs at The Leela' Programme with a minimum tenure of employment, graduates will be awarded an incentive. 

The mandate for The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has been expanded to lead training and development interventions across all levels of the organisation with a focus on improving gender diversity across all levels. The Leela Leadership Development Programme (LLDP), a 15-month programme has been designed to equip associates in functions of Sales, Butlers, F&B and Operations to strengthen their competencies and skills to take on higher positions of responsibility within the organisation. Furthermore, female LLDP aspirants who were not selected in the final round are eligible to apply for Phase Two of the 'Shefs at The Leela' programme.

About The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts 

Headquartered in Mumbai, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts is owned by a Brookfield Asset Management-sponsored private real estate fund and operates twelve award-winning properties in major cities and leisure destinations across India. These include the flagship hotel in the capital city of New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Udaipur, Jaipur, Gurugram, East Delhi, Mumbai, Gandhinagar and now Kovalam and Ashtamudi in Kerala. The Leela celebrates each hotel through its unique location, art, culture and cuisine with thoughtful services, celebratory rituals, and immersive experiences. The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts was voted the World’s Best Hotel Brand twice in a row by Travel + Leisure, USA, World’s Best Awards Survey, 2020 and 2021. In 2023, the brand has once again been featured in the top 3 World’s Best Hotel Brands. An epitome of true Indian luxury hospitality, The Leela is committed to providing guests with unforgettable stays in settings that capture the essence of India. The brand has a marketing alliance with US-based Preferred Hotels & Resorts and is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance.

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Media Contacts:  
Anjali Mehra