Chef Manoj Chopra was born in 1955, to a Princess Mother-Ved Rani Syal & a distinguished Doctor Dad Dhanpat Rai Chopra.
Manoj grew up in Central India, attending school at Xaviers High School, in Bombay. His culinary education began at the prestigious Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition, Mumbai.
Manoj completed an extensive 3 year program involving practical classes & workshops, and on the job training in four 5 Star hotels:
He continued his education with a 1 year post diploma program Specialized Hotel Management also from the same Institute.
The Principal of the Institute, Ms Thangam Philip (One of the 3 Cerus Award Winners behind Mother Teressa & Indira Gandhi), spotted Manoj's Cooking skills & invited him to join the Teaching Staff of the Institute to teach Bulk Food cooking to 2nd year students. He served as a Bulk Food Cooking Teacher for 3 years. The Bulk Food Training Kitchen dished out 100 Breakfasts, 500 Lunches & 100 Dinners daily. During this period he had the opportunity to cook for Prime Minister Indira Gandhi several times at The Rang Bhavan, where she resided when visiting Bombay. After a satisfying meal Mrs. Gandhi would pat his back and say, "My Son you are a master of your trade".
While teaching at the Institute he was approached by Mr. Pierre Andre Darbally, CEO of AG.Heinr. Hatt-Haller, Switzerland. He was offered the job of Chef for their Indian Kitchen in Bagdad, Iraq. Spotting his passion & skills for cooking Mr. Darbally sent him to Zurich for advanced training in European Cooking. On his return he was put in charge as Chef De Cuisine for both The Indian & European Kitchen. Manoj worked there for 4 years. Company vacations had him travelling the World to Countries like Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Thailand, and the United States.
He returned to Bombay to join his colleague Dyal Advani and together they planned & built the Luxary Hotel Sands. Upon Operation he served as Food & Beverage Manager of Hotel Sands. Here he received the dynamic training called "The Dirty Dozen training". This training enables 12 men to operate a Luxury Hotel in case it shuts down. He was then appointed as General Manager by the Bijjalani Group for their Resort Hotel in Lonavala.
Then he joined colleague Noorali Jagmagai to construct an upscale & unique restaurant called Prangan belonging to the Golden Gate Group in Bombay. He served as General Manager for the Golden Gate Group of Restaurants & Hotels that employs 120 staff.
His career had catapulted to the top in India, however Manoj was not satisfied because he had been lured away from his passion - Cooking. So he packed his bags and came to San Francisco with a "Suitcase and his Passion". After a stint in Gaylord India Restaurant in Palo Alto, he started his own Little India Restaurant in 1991.
Wow! we are thankful that Chef Manoj Chopra, with all his Global Experience, Qualifications and Passion is in our own backyard.