Mumbai-born Michelin-star chef Sriram Ayulur, 47, has been named UK’s ‘Beer Drinker of the Year’ by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group of the House of Commons. The award is to recognise the chef’s contribution to UK’s beer industry, and has previously been awarded to the likes of Prince Charles and UK’s former PM Gordon Brown.
The chef, who’s the first Indian to receive the award, is elated. “It feels great to be contributing to UK’s beer industry and being recognised for it. It is indeed very encouraging,” he says. Chef Sriram, who has worked with the Taj Group for over 24 years now, heads the group’s Quilon restaurant in London, which serves Indian coastal cuisine, paired with a wide variety of beer. The chef has developed a five-course British beer menu for the restaurant. He has also launched UK’s first vintage beer menu. “British beers are the best companions for Indian Southwest coastal cuisine,” says Sriram.
During his postings in hotels across South India, the chef recalls travelling and learning to cook from housewives. In 1999, he left for London. Ask him about his fondest food memories from India and he remembers, “Eating a Sunday lunch that was cooked by my mom and dad. It was the best experience in the world,” he says.