Manjunath Mural, (born 10 May 1973) is the executive chef of The Song of India restaurant in Singapore and has won several awards as a chef and for The Song of India. Manjunath Mural's speciality is modern Indian cuisine.
Born May 10, 1973, Manjunath Mural, son of Parashuram Mural, was brought up in sobar family in Mumbai, India. He lives in a family of doctors; his father, younger brother and sister are both in the medical field. His mother died of cancer when he was young.
In 1993, Mural decided not to became a doctor and studied hotel management with specialization in kitchen(food production) at IHMCTAN in Bangalore India. His goal was to become a room service manager. His life turning point was in 1996 during a 6 months industrial training for Taj President, a 5 star hotel situated at Cuffe Parade in Mumbai India. Working in different kitchens, his interest grew and desired to become a chef. After industrial training, he went back to college for a final year and won 2nd place in a cooking competition held in IHMCTAN. He was then selected to represent IHMCTAN to compete in the National level.
Mural returned to Mumbai after his studies due to his mothers death. His desire to become a chef led him to join The Resort, a five star hotel at Madh Island in Mumbai, starting out in the commi-II level. While working he continued to put in effort for better opportunities and was later selected as management trainee in kitchen at Centaur Hotel at Juhu Beach in Mumbai. While completing his management programme he had the opportunity to work with renowned master chef Sanjeev Kapor and chef Milind Sovani. Later he was appointed as chef de partie and he continued to specialize in Indian cuisine, working in main kitchen and banquets. He was then given opportunity to be in charge of the northern Indian specialty restaurant called Pakhtoon and ran the restaurant kitchen operation.
His passion for food and cooking continued to grow as he assisted and contributed to the five star recipe book Sanjeev Kapoor's Khana Khazana: Celebration of Indian Cookery. Later also he worked in Sahara Amby valley before joining five star hotel The Retreat at Madh Island as sous chef. With hard work and consistency, he was quickly promoted to senior sous chef.
It was always his dream to work for a multinational hotel group and his dream came true when he had an opportunity to work at Marriott Renaissance at Powai, Mumbai as junior sous chef. Marriott Renaissance is one of the largest conventional centre in Mumbai and it was an experience of a lifetime.
On 19 Feb 2006, Mural arrived in Singapore and joined as sous chef to start up The Song of India under celebrity chef Milind Sovani where he contributed to building the reputation of The Song of India as one of the renowned famous Indian restaurants in Singapore. Mural led the team from The Song of India to win the bronze medal 2006 in a chefs competition held by RAS (restaurant association of Singapore).
In 2007, he won the gold medal in gourmet hunt Singapore 2007 for The Song of India.
In 2009, Channel News Asia ran a reality TV show as a chefs competition and Mural won 2nd place which gave him media recognition. He is well remembered by viewers for his creative dish, white chocolate semolina crackwheat kheer. It was also during this TV show that Manjunath Mural had the opportunity to meet and serve then president of Singapore SR Nathan.
In 2011, Mural was promoted to corporate chef of The Song of India group. Apart from managing the operations for The Song of India, he put in extra effort and created a new brand for The Song of India Group, Indian Express, to share his love for food to the mass market. He was nominated for World Gourmet Awards, KitchenAid Chef of the Year 2011 and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year.
In 2012, Mural participated in World Gourmet Summit and also has nominations as best Asian chef of the year, chef of the year, World Gourmet Awards, The Miele Guide's The 2nd Annual Chef of Chefs Award and awarded People's Choice award for best Asian chef. In June, he was awarded chef of the month from Cuisine & Wine magazine. Manjunath Mural was also a participant in the Asian Masters Masterchef Workshop.
During the visit of chef Vikas Khanna ( Michelin star chef from Junoon New York ) to Singapore in May 2012, Manjunath Mural invited him to work together in The Song of India as part of World Gourmet Summit. They co-hosted two events ″A Week Long Promotion of Epicurean Delights″ and ″Culinary Sensations at The Song of India: Up Close & Personal with Vikas Khanna″.
In March 2013, Manjunath Mural was once again invited by Channel News Asia for an interview and cooking demonstration. In the same month, he also took part March Home 2013's cooking demo. In April, Manjunath Mural has been invited to participate in World Gourmet Summit 2013 and Savour 2013. For 2013 World Gourmet Summit, Manjunath Mural hosts celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
Apart from his work at The Song of India, Manjunath Mural is writing a book called Spiritual Cuisine ( cooking for happiness and life ) and another book specially for the young chefs of hotel management in India, called 5 Ways of Presentation, to explore how Indian food can be presented in modern style. 5 Ways of Presentation will help young chefs to think differently and become more creative with Indian food. Manjunath Mural feels that young chefs have to be more creative and one of the ways he can help is to share his knowledge and ideas accumulated through his own years of study on modern Indian cuisine. The problem he feels is that many chefs do not want to share ideas and experiences but chef Manjunath Mural believes there is no end for ideas and he will share what he knows to contribute to the success of future great chefs.
Awards & Nominations
- Asian Chef of the Year 2012 - Nominated
- Asian Chef of the Year 2013 - Nominated
- Peoples Choice Award for Asian Chef of the Year 2012 - Awarded
- The Miele Guide The 2nd Annual Chef of Chefs Award - Nominated
- Cuisine & Wine Chef of the Month - Awarded
- KitchenAid Chef of the Year 2011 - Nominated
- USA Poultry & Egg Export Council Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year - Nominated
- Hosting Chef at World Gourmet Summit 2012
- Interview with OpenRice
- Miele The Perfect Meal
- Singapore Food Festival 2012
- Featured in Yahoo MakanNation
- Sanjeev Kapoor's Khana Khazana: Celebration of Indian Cookery
- The Executive Chef of the Year for Indian Cuisine 5 Star Category
- March Home 2013
- Chef Vikas at The Song of India for A Week Long Promotion of Epicurean Delights
- World Gourmet Series Awards of Excellence 2013 Finalists
- The Miele Guide The 2nd Annual Chef of Chefs Award
- Asian Master's Masterchef Workshops
- World Gourmet Series 2011
- 2013 Channel News Asia Interview and Cooking Demo