Chef Jay Morjaria, beat hundreds of other hopefuls to bring his ‘plant-forward’ East Asian concept, ‘Dynasty’ to BBC’s latest food show ‘Million Pound Menu’ and then went on to receive an investment offer of £500,000 from Lydia Forte of the 5 Star Rocco Forte Hotel group, with hotels in London, Edinburgh and across Europe.
Million Pound Menu which some have called a combination of Master Chef Professionals and Dragon’s Den showcases 12 different food concepts from across the UK by giving each a three-day trial run of a 40-seater pop-up restaurant in the heart of Manchester. The aim is – to try to win over the paying public and the all-important investors.
Chef Jay, the first Asian contestant on the show, had to run ‘Dynasty’ as a full-service restaurant, manage a team he had never worked with before, be prepared to have his food scrutinised and face a nail biting interview with potential investors to prove his financial plan and figures stacked up.
Chef Jay said “Growing up surrounded by cooking and my parents’ Indian vegetarian restaurants, food has always played a big part in my life but now I get to take it one step further and make my dream a reality…I have been overwhelmed by the positive comments and support I have had since my appearance on the show and look forward to sharing my food with you all.”
Seven years ago, Chef Jay gave up his job as a retail buyer to pursue his passion, opening Sutra Kitchen, a vegetarian cookery school in London. He then decided to explore East Asian cuisine, working in restaurants in Korea, even making his own homemade kimchi, before opening Dynasty as an occasional, sell-out supper-club, serving vegetable focussed friendly dishes with a few meat sides.
Chef Jay’s food was extremely well received on the show with diners loving the unique combinations and flavours and even Million Pound Menu show host Fred Sirieix declaring “This is amazing, every little mouthful” on tasting Jay’s food.
Jay’s appeal is easy to see, his passion and drive to bring Dynasty to life resonates with so many aspiring individuals and the outcome is inspirational.
If you missed seeing the show, UK residents can watch it on BBC iplayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b6v9pv
To find out more about what Chef Jay is up to and where you can try his delicious food follow him on Instagram/twitter @chefjaymorjaria