Coronavirus Diaries: Taj Dubai executive chef Vikas Milhoutra

Discover how the chef is interacting with his team during lockdown
Vikas Milhoutra
Vikas Milhoutra

7:00am – Weekday from Sunday to Thursday starts with getting out of bed as usual and waking up my daughter Navya for her e- learning classes from school.  I indulge in a light green tea and Navya loves her warm milk with coffee.

7:30am - Getting down with some yoga and stretching exercises to compensate for the loss in physical activity. My routines range from light to very brief brisk ones.


8:30am - Up and ready for the best part of the day - breakfast with wife Rupali which is in most cases a staple Indian meal like a paratha with yogurt. Post this I leave for the hotel.

9:30am – We have an occasional virtual meeting with the area director Mr. Ranjit Phillipose and other HODs, else I get together with a few other department heads to plan for the day and way forward in the daily evolving situation.

10:30am - Respond to all emails for the day.  Interact with the team to finalize the daily operations, participate in the associate meals and generally pep up the team to keep motivation levels high and associates engaged.

2:30pm – After lunch get involved with some e-learning or webinars. This also gives me time to plan for future menus/concepts and themes for the hotel – “This phase will pass too – sooner than we think“ is the belief. Think and plan for what we can and will need to do for the coming times – this laced with a couple of telephonic / video chats with friends and family in between.

6:00pm – Recap the day over a “chai chat“  with my team of chefs and brainstorm on what we can do that’s exciting the next day or next few days to keep us all involved and charged and fresh for when everything is back to the “ new normal “. Discuss with teams on how we can cross train in new skills and jobs.

9:00pm – Pretty much around this time, I tend to wind up and head home. It  is a big blessing to have some quality family time otherwise the operations are so busy that for some reason or the other I never manage to reach home this early. I then do a video call with my daughter and other family members in India which typically lasts an hour whilst we nibble on a nice homemade meal – it’s good, fun family time -  “ virtually “ though but this hour is something I really look forward to each day.

10:00pm - Watch a little bit of TV and get updated with the happenings internationally – I try not to over feed myself with too much of negative news but just about enough to keep me aware on what’s going  on around me .

11:00pm – just scroll through my inbox to see if there is anything urgent that requires immediate attention the next day and then play an online game or two of Ludo King before I call it a day and hit the bed – ready to take on a new “opportunity“ the next day.

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