Chef Abhijeet: From Dreamer to Culinary Maestro

From humble beginnings to topping the culinary charts, dive into Chef Abhijeet Bagwe’s journey of perseverance & inspiration! Dream, Believe, Achieve…

Words by
Aaron Fernandes


Reading Time
04 min read

DC (Dominic CostaBir), a seasoned Hospitality Industry Training Specialist, and I were at a crucial meeting at the well-appointed Novotel Mumbai International Airport, Andheri. Little did we know that this meet would unleash a heartwarming tale…

As we drew up our chairs, Chef Abhijeet (who was part of the meeting) allowed a smile to play across his lips as he exchanged glances with DC. Intrigued by the warmth, DC, who has dedicated his life to training Hospitality personnel, smiled back a little tentatively. The puzzle fell into place when Abhijeet proudly exalted, "Dominic Sir, I was one of your students at HTI - first batch!"

Incidentally, HTI (Hospitality Training Institute), founded in 2002 by Dominic CostaBir, conducted Hospitality Management courses for students. In 2008, HTI shifted over to upskilling personnel in the Hospitality Industry pan-India and Internationally – UAE, Maldives, Mauritius, Philippines, Nepal and Sri Lanka. 

Chef Abhijeet’s nostalgic revelation was eye-opening and heartwarming…

His modest background was stifling his dreams of becoming a Chef. Destiny, however, conspired. An article on HTI in the newspaper for affordable diploma courses run by topnotch professionals caught his eye. Despite his challenges with self-confidence and finances, he was determined to do a course at HTI; which, in turn, transformed his life.

The rigorous diploma at HTI polished his culinary skills and shaped his perspective. Armed with knowledge and a burning passion to succeed, Abhijeet set sail, literally, with a cruise line company to further hone his craft. Under the guidance of experienced chefs, he absorbed the intricacies of the culinary world, and gradually worked his way up the kitchen brigade.

Today, Abhijeet stands tall as Executive Chef at Novotel, a testament to his drive, dedication and the solid foundation laid by HTI.

I watched as DC expressed his elation with tears of pride and joy welling up, due to the realization that he had played an intrinsic part in shaping Abhijeet’s success story. 

This heartening encounter reminded me that goals can be achieved and dreams realised with Drive, Dedication & Mentorship. Chef Abhijeet's journey inspired me to never lose hope – to always be on the lookout for opportunities and strive for excellence. …And yes, eventually, savour the heady taste of success that follows dedication and hard work.

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