‘The Sachin Tendulkar of South Indian cooking’’ that is what a noted cricket writer wrote about Venkatesh after being impressed by his recipes and cooking skills at Leela Palace, Jamavar back in his earlier days of cooking career. A face recognized in almost every household in Southern India; Venkatesh has become famous through the Kitchen Superstar and Samyal Samyal Tv series both of which aired on Star Vijay.
Hailing from a family of restaurateurs, he is a native from Udupi- Mangalore region. Bhat being a strict vegetarian he professes his exceptional talent in non-vegetarian cooking. He completed his catering studies at Asan Memorial and obtained a graduate degree from Cornell University and also majored in general management at Nanyang University, Singapore. Bhat spent the yesteryears of his career as a chef in the kitchens of Hotel Chola Sheraton. In 1996, he moved to Taj Coromandel as a management trainee in hotel operations and kitchen management before being promoted to the stature of sous chef in 1998. At Taj Coromandel, he was a part of the team that launched Southern Spice.
He then joined Leela Palace in Bangalore as an executive sous chef in 2001 and was promoted to corporate chef by 2004. The ambitious and famous chef is also the CEO of Accord Metropolitan hotel chain which he inherited in the worn out state because of de-motivated staff, over expenses and inefficient pest control. He rebuilt the mismanaged company and worked hard to bring it back to business. Bhat joined hands with a young entrepreneur Vijay Abhimanyu to launch a chain of South Indian restaurants in various formats - South Indies, Bon South and Up South – which made rounds and won awards.
After tasting success in establishing concept restaurants, Bhat moved up for larger ventures. CEO by day and chef by night, he focuses on hotel’s Royal Indiana restaurant which is famous for serving South Indian cuisines.