Assistant Director of Culinary Excellence
Originally from Kerala in southwestern India, Nijo recalls childhood days of cooking Indian cuisine with his mother. “The pride she took in preparing meals had a great effect on me, which is why I felt the calling to be a chef,” he says. .” If asked about his most memorable meal, Nijo would tell you about the “magic meals” that his mother used to prepare with the food from their garden. Hungry to acquire his mother’s palate and cooking techniques
He embarked on his culinary journey at the University of Madras. There, he trained in French cuisine as part of his Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Catering Management. He accented his education with externships at the Trident Oberoi, Sheraton Park Hotel & Towers Chennai and the Centaur Hotel in New Delhi. At the Royal Mirage in Dubai, Nijo mastered Mediterranean, Moroccan, and Middle Eastern cuisine. As a Chef for Carnival Cruise Lines, he further honed his kitchen management skills, where the philosophy of preparation without error is key. Making his way to the United States, he assisted in opening Indian fine dining restaurants in Melbourne, Florida.
Nijo joined Stanford in 2003, and since then he has served at a number of R&DE’s venues. He is an Assistant Director of Culinary Excellence, managing all aspects of the culinary programs.