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Chefs and the City of Winchester

Ram, Head Chef at Gurkhas Inn, Wimchester

Gurkhas Inn Winchester logo
RAM: Head Chef at Gurkha's Inn, City Road, Winchester, has had a global career preparing food in the kitchens of the highest quality restaurants and 5 star hotels. He has worked in Nepal, Tokyo, throughout India and the Middle East and has many years experience with UK fine dining restaurants. This has allowed him to gain tremendous culinary training, knowledge and experience in the preparation of Nepalese, Indian and Sub–Continental dishes. From an early stage Ram has believed in the value of using only high–quality ingredients. Management experience has instilled in him a deep respect for the importance of food hygiene and the art of "menu engineering"; management of the ingredients' journey from source to the diner's plate.

Ram loves the art of cooking and being surrounded by others who share this passion. His team comprises highly skilled Chefs; "people qualified by experience and the quality of their output", who come from far and wide. Ingredients are locally sourced – except for the spices, which come from approved suppliers.

When asked what is most important, presentation or taste, he replies: "taste comes first – but presentation and attention to detail are very important". When relaxing Ram likes to fine tune his art of cooking through experiencing new foods and experimenting with creation of unique spices. Gurkha's Inn offers diners the chance to enjoy new dining experiences – alongside more familiar dishes, in a lovely atmosphere and setting.

Visit the Gurkha's Inn Website for photo gallery, menus and contact details.

Bimal Chef at Porterhouse

Porterhouse Steakhouse logo
Bimal: Executive Chef at Porterhouse Steakhouse, Jewry Street, Winchester, received early training and experience in his native Nepal and Abu Dhabi, where he worked in fine restaurants and 5 star hotels. He then spent 12 years with Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort, Dubai; a 5 star hotel with 15 restaurants. Bimal's career has gained him expertise with a variety of cuisines including Far Eastern, Italian and of course Steakhouse fare.

Bimal was taught much of the art of steak preparation/cooking by an accomplished American Head Chef. He went on to help win many coveted awards for Le Meridien's 'Prime Rib Steakhouse' restaurant over the 4 years he was based there. Cooking is Bimal's hobby as well as profession: "I love to cook; I cook with feeling from deep in my heart. When people leave my restaurant, I want them to be cheered up and happy". When asked what utensil he could not do without he quickly replied: "I cannot work without my tongs – they are my third hand!"

His ingredients are sourced locally except for the steaks which come from Argentina – regarded as the best in the world. Bimal shows me the fridge housing great slabs of different steak cuts waiting to be sliced to size and proudly declares; "Since the steaks are not pre-cut, diners can have pretty much any size they wish – but we do not cook 4 ounce steaks!" he added smiling. Bimal's favourite ingredients (apart from the meat) are fresh herbs, especially Thyme and Rosemary, which he uses in some of his steak marinades.

When asked what is most important, presentation or taste, he replies: "Both, your eyes eat first; taste is how I have put feeling into it". His team's commitment to providing the highest level of Steakhouse dining and customer service, together with their aim to give diners exactly what they want in an environment of tranquil chic, makes Bimal very proud of what they have achieved since Porterhouse opened in 2010.

I asked if he cooked at home – "Sometimes – when I am in a romantic mood!". Who would you most like to cook for? – "Any celebrity chef". So, if there are any out there reading this, why not visit Porterhouse for a delicious Bimal steak – you will not be disappointed!

Porterhouse Info

ARCHIVED HISTORY: Winchester Chefs

Attila of El Sabio

El Sabio logo
ARCHIVE: Attila: Head Chef and owner, with wife Viki, of El Sabio Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Eastgate Street, Winchester, a charming family run riverside bar and restaurant.

El Sabio means 'The Wise' and Tapas is the name given to the variety of hot/cold appetizers or snacks in Spanish cooking.

Attila trained in Budapest then came to Britain to run the kitchen of a very successful Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Surrey. It was here that he developed his enthusiasm for Spanish food.

Attila and Viki opened El Sabio in 2008 and enjoyed much accolade until its closure 2018.

AWT with David Pople

AWT with Winchester Mayors
Antony Worrall Thompson: Antony was the speaker for a fund–raising supper held at Bangkok Brasserie, Winchester in April 2014.

The event was in aid of The Friends of H.O.P.E, an amazing small charity that has been helping the rural poor and tribal communities in the Nilgiri Hills of India for the last 15 years. AWT has strong associations with India on his grandmother's side and also worked for the Taj group in Mumbai.

It was a great evening with the Winchester Mayor & Mayoress both in attendance.

Over 2,000 was raised including an auction of a meal at The Greyhound, donated by Antony.

Click to visit the Antony Worrall Thompson Website

Imam, Executive Chef at Rimjhim, Winchester

Rimjhim Winchester logo
ARCHIVE: Imamuddin Khan: hails from Delhi: considered one of the major food capitals of India. From an early age, Imamuddin discovered he had an insatiable love of food and this passion led him to Catering College where he graduated their finest Culinary & Management training program.

Following graduation, Imamuddin started as a Chef at The Great Kebab Factory, Radisson Hotel, Delhi – a restaurant specialising in cuisine introduced by the Mongols during their invasion of India and its subcontinent: the Kebab. Menus comprise sublime Kebabs prepared using a variety of recipes and techniques dating back to the 14th century.

Imamuddin's next step saw him join Dum Pukht as Assistant Chef de Cuisine at the ITC Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi; a restaurant highly regarded for cuisine inspired by the Royal kitchens of Awadh, and an established firm favourite with celebrities and World leaders alike. Imamuddin went on to head the famous Dera Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine at the Taj Hotel Chandigarh. During his time at Dera, Imamuddin showcased traditional delicacies from Punjab, alongside specialities from Amritsar, Lahore and Peshawar, adding his own contemporary twist.

Having cultivated his culinary craft at the power houses of culinary excellence in India, Imamuddin ventured west to London as Sous Chef at the acclaimed Cinnamon Club – widely considered a benchmark in modern and sophisticated Indian dining. During this time, Imamuddin was involved in the group's exciting venture at The Cinnamon Soho Restaurant & Bar where he explored new concepts and developed modern seasonal menus that won acclaim at The Taste of London Awards.

During his tenure in London, Imamuddin stretched the boundaries of Indian cuisine and also spent time co–authoring the bestselling culinary book 'Curry: Classic and Contemporary' by celebrity Chef Vivek Singh. He then headed to Newcastle as Head Chef at the award–winning Haveli restaurant – considered a benchmark in crafted modern Indian dining. Throughout this time, Imamuddin was widely involved in new challenges where he explored innovative concepts to develop crafted modern seasonal restaurant and bar menus with a contemporary twist. Imamuddin's innovation and skills saw him reach finalist of the NECTA Chef of the year 2014.

Rimjhim Contemporary Indian Cuisine, 1-3 City Road, Winchester. Visit and delight in a superb range of classic and contemporary Indian cuisine with an authentic heritage – an experience not to be missed!

See the Rimjhim Feature (2017) for photo gallery, menus and contact details | Rimjhim Winchester Website