Chef Divakar has been named the Senior Dining Association’s 2020 Dining Executive of the Year.
Delmanor’s corporate manager of culinary services, Chef Divakar Raju, has been named as the first-ever Canadian recipient of the Senior Dining Association’s 2020 Dining Executive of the Year Award.
Chef Divakar was nominated for the award by the general manager of Delmanor Elgin Mills, Michelle White. He thanked his colleagues at Delmanor, including a hard-working group of dining room managers, chefs, dining and culinary services teams.
He described the win to RestoBiz as a “pretty huge” honour and explained that he was given a surprise with the award over a video call by his colleagues after the ceremony was shifted from an in-person event in Orlando, Fla. to a virtual affair due to COVID-19.
“The guys here gave me a huge surprise by not letting me know about it over the weekend,” Chef Divakar said. “Then, on the Tuesday, they called me into head office saying we needed to discuss something. It was International Chefs Day and that was the day they got all of the chefs of the company on a Zoom call.
“The founder and CEO of the Senior Dining Association comes on the screen. I know him and I was like “’what the hell is he doing here?’ I thought that he was invited to give a speech to the chefs but then he told me I’d won the award. I was ambushed, basically,” he laughed.
Chef Divakar, who recently outlined the trials and tests of operating a fine dining kitchen for an ageing community during a global pandemic, added that as well as his immense pride in himself and for Delmanor, he continues to love working as a chef in Canada.
“Canada has it’s own charm and I would never live anywhere else in the world,” he said. “Toronto is just amazing for all the diversity. Someone asked me what it’s like to be a chef in Canada in Toronto. I told them that if you want any kind of food, you can get it. That’s the dream.”
To learn more about Delmanor, visit the company’s website.