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AlumniDynamic Chef Duo

This dynamic chef duo met at Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland and now head up the kitchen at Miguel’s Cocktails and Petiscos in Goa.

Despite the global pandemic, Varun Menghani and Madhav Dayal managed to open up their fun and trendy cocktail restaurant, Miguel's Cocktails and Petiscos, with great reviews. We caught up with Varun to get an inside look into the this Gatsby and art deco vibe cocktail bar, with Portuguese and European culinary influences.


Both alumni performed their internships in top hotels and Michelin restaurants in Switzerland before moving onto staging with some well-known names in the industry. Dubai raised Varun moved to New York City to work at NoMad Hotel under award-winning Chef Reilly while Madhav worked at Asia’s number one restaurant Gaggan and then returned home to work with his mentor, celebrated Indian chef Ritu Dalmia.

Varun Menghani and Madhav Dayal

When asked how they became involved in the opening and development of the project, Varun states, “I was working in NYC when Madhav called. His family was wanting to open a bar in Goa and realized they needed to have a great food option in order to be profitable. During their research, they decided to do petiscos (Portuguese tapas) to go with the cocktails, and he wanted to know if I wanted to come and help out. It was such a great opportunity to start up a business and have input into the vision of the food.”

Varun Menghani and Madhav Dayal

He continues, "Luckily the two owners are happy for a young team to head up the kitchen and have allowed us to be fully involved in every aspect of the kitchen design as well as setting up the menu. We learned very quickly that equipment is pricey and had to slim down the wish list for the kitchen by about one third. You learn how to compromise and how to create the same type of food with different equipment, not to mention being creative in storing the daily fresh food.

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