Chef Vikram Sunderam of Rasika Restaurant - Biography

Washington, DC

April 2012

A native of Bombay, India, Vikram Sunderam began his career in 1985 when he joined the Taj Mahal Hotel group. During his training with the company, he worked at several of their properties, including Riverview Lodge where he was promoted to Head Chef. Sunderam received an Advanced Food Hygiene Certificate from Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London and prior to that he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Osmania University (Hyderabad) and Diploma in Hotel Administration and Food Technology from Sophia Polytechnic in Bombay.

Before making the leap to Washington, Sunderam was at the award-winning Bombay Brasserie in London for 14 years, eight of which he served as the executive chef. During his tenure at Bombay Brasserie, Sunderam also gained experience cooking for large scale, high profile events.

Sunderam joined Washington restaurateur Ashok Bajaj in December 2005 to open the140-seat Indian hot spot Rasika. The name Rasikais derived from Sanskrit meaning “flavors” and Chef Vikram Sunderam continues to please critics, celebrities and patrons with his authentic Indian fare with modern flair. His culinary artistry garnered him a nomination for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic” by James Beard Foundation in 2009, 2010, and 2012 and a “Chef of the Year” nomination by Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in 2009 and 2010. In 2007, Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post awarded Rasikawith three and a half stars, calling Rasika “one of the most exciting Indian restaurants on the East Coast.” Among its many accolades, Rasika has gone on to receive “Four Stars” from The Washington Post in the 2009 and 2010 Dining Guide. The restaurant was awarded the number eight spot of the 100 Best Restaurants in Washingtonian magazine in 2010.

Sunderam is also collaborating with Bajaj on the recipes for Rasika’s new line of Indian sauces, currently for sale at the restaurant as well as Giant and Whole Foods. He currently resides in McLean, Virginia with his wife and two children. When he is not in the kitchen cooking, Vikram can be found enjoying sports such as football, cricket, hockey, table tennis and basketball or immersed in a good book.