Biju Ashfer - Biju, Ashfer

Ashfer Biju

Biography

Ashfer Biju brings a worldly vision inspired by regional ingredients to the culinary program as Executive Chef at Perrine restaurant and The Rotunda lounge at The Pierre hotel both opened in 2016.

A self-described “crafter of perishable art,” Biju guides his menus with careful finesse and consideration of the guest, favoring simple preparations that allow delicate nuances of the ingredients to shine through. “I consider cooking an extreme art form, where a lot of effort is put into a creation which is consumed and ended very quickly. This is the true appreciation of the art... READ MORE

Ashfer Biju brings a worldly vision inspired by regional ingredients to the culinary program as Executive Chef at Perrine restaurant and The Rotunda lounge at The Pierre hotel both opened in 2016.

A self-described “crafter of perishable art,” Biju guides his menus with careful finesse and consideration of the guest, favoring simple preparations that allow delicate nuances of the ingredients to shine through. “I consider cooking an extreme art form, where a lot of effort is put into a creation which is consumed and ended very quickly. This is the true appreciation of the art and what we hope to bring our guests.” For Biju, the role of artist-meets-chef produces successful results only when working alongside a great team.

Having grown up in the backwaters of Kerala, India, Biju experienced food as a daily celebration, with everything cooked fresh. His father also owned and operated several establishments in India, and his maternal grandfather did likewise in Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, and Thailand. “I credit my love of food to my childhood,” he says. “Growing up, I was exposed to all kinds of fish and seafood. and picked up on many techniques” This foundation paved the way for a successful career in hospitality, which began at 16 when Biju started working in restaurants.

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. Biju applies his comprehensive training, depth of travel, and experience to his current role at Perrine and The Rotunda. He offers seasonally-driven dishes with clean, distinct flavors that enhance the purity of the ingredients, along with a category of classics representative of beloved dishes from The Pierre’s vintage menus. His extensive research of The Pierre’s culinary history, conducted over the four-year span of his career at the hotel, is evident in his refreshing balance of innovation and tradition.

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.

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What is your favorite NYC restaurant? And what is your go-to dish? Boulud Sud, Upper West Side Love the Lamb Flat BreadWhat is your ultimate meal? Enjoying fresh seafood (crab, clams, shrimp? yes please...) by the beach (or water) with family & friends while having a lot of fun. For me the atmosphere, company and the mood is as important as the meal in itself.What three things are always in your pantry? So, i own a t-shirt which says "Need Salt" Good salt (Coarse sea salt, Himalayan pink, Black salt), Lemon, Pepper & Chilies... (I know that is 4 & not 3, but I do not think I am ready to give up on any!) As a cook, I am all about seasoning. I strongly believe you can take simple fresh ingredients and create a magical dish by just seasoning right.If you weren't a chef, what would you be? Travel Photographer or JournalistIf you could cook with anyone, who would that be? I would really like to go back in time (about 4 decades) and cook with my Grandmother & her culinary counter parts (friends, relatives i guess). In addition to learning some of her recipes first hand, i would like to see how traditional cooking utensils & equipment were used to create the most delicious meals using only fresh, home grown ingredients. I would also like to go back in time & be in my very own kitchen at The Pierre hotel in 1930 where chef Auguste Escoffier & Chef Charles Scotto set the brigadeWhat’s your favorite NYCWFF memory? My pastry chef, Chef Michael Mignano's mother & his two aunts (whom we often address as our mothers in NYC), made a surprise visit to our station during our very first event in 2016. When the crowd realized that we have our moms in the queue, they cheered & brought them forward to our station and the whole place erupted with joy & laughter. This was a very special moment for all of us at the station and a great tribute to our moms & our concept of traditional food.

Coronation Chicken
Chicken Curry Salad, Raisins, Herbs, Country Bread

Serving Size / Yield: 6 Portion

Ingredients:
720 gms poached chicken cut in cubes
120 gms celery peeled and sliced thin
120 gms green apple cut in cubes
90 gms cucumber peeled and sliced
18 gms jalapeno brunoise
18 gms chives chopped
30 gms scallions chopped
30 gms frisée picked
To taste kosher salt
18gms lemon juice
3 gms lemon zest

For Curry mayo
70 gms canola oil
30 gms madras curry powder
10 gms turmeric powder
4 gms chilli powder (kashmiri deghi mirch)
500 gms mayonnaise
300 gms greek yogurt
10 gms dijon
6 gms tabasco sauce
6 gms worcestershire sauce
10 gms ginger juice
80 gms lemon juice
To taste salt

30 gms raisins
10 gms cilantro picked
10 gms parsley picked
10 gms chives chopped
15 gms french radish sliced thin
30 gms green apple cut as allumettes
5 gms peppercorns freshly ground
7 gms paprika oil / curry oil
20 gms whole wheat toast cut in points, crusts removed
1 ea lemon wedge

 

Directions:

Place chicken, celery, apple, cucumber, jalapeno, scallions and chives in a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and lemon juice, grate zest over.

Mix with curry mayo lightly and add frisée at the end.

Arrange in a flat salad bowl, garnish with herbs, radish, green apple allumettes and ground pepper.

Drizzle paprika oil and serve with toast points and lemon wedge.

For Curry Mayo (yield: 1000 gms)

Heat oil to a smoking point and remove from fire.

Slowly add curry powder to hot oil, making sure not to burn the spices, add chilli powder as well, mix using a whisk into a homogenous mixture.

Bring the mixture to room temperature.

Combine all the other ingredients to spice mixture, check seasoning and set aside