Saturday, March 9th at the Grand Tasting & Auction
Chef Akshay Bhardwaj was born in Queens and moved to Closter, New Jersey at a young age where he did his schooling. Homemade Indian food was a daily ritual prepared by his mother which exposed him to the vast array of spices and vegetables used in the cuisine. Inspired early on by his father Rajesh Bhardwaj, a successful restauranteur, Akshay found himself drawn to the restaurant industry at an early age. While attending Fordham University Gabelli School of Business in 2012, Akshay started an apprenticeship in the kitchen under Chef Adin Langille.
His culinary career has been exclusively within the Junoon family. He began as a fry cook and worked his way up to Lead Line Cook and Tournant/Roundsman. Following a stint at Junoon Dubai, he returned to Junoon in New York to become Junior Sous Chef and eventually Sous Chef in 2015. Along the way, he learnt French, Italian and even Japanese techniques working under various chefs, which he applies at Junoon to help push the boundaries of Indian cuisine. He was promoted as the Executive Chef in 2017. Chef Akshay’s cooking has a strong emotional component rooted in childhood food memories and how they made him feel.
In October 2018, Junoon was awarded a Michelin Star for the eighth year in a row. The restaurant has received one each year since its 2010 debut. Junoon now holds the title of the only Indian restaurant in New York City with a Michelin Star and Executive Chef Akshay Bhardwaj is one of the youngest to be recognized for this coveted award.
Prior to embarking on the culinary path Chef Akshay studied Business at Fordham University and is completing a Business degree at Baruch College in New York. His interests include football, basketball, soccer, playing the piano and spending time with family. He visits India regularly, where he enjoys his grandmother’s cooking.