CHEF TALK: In conversation with Grand Millennium Business Bay’s Chef de Cuisine Babuji Panicker

Assortment Of Dishes From Grand Millennium Business Bay Dubai

Meet Chef Babuji Panicker, who is currently serving as Chef de Cuisine at the Grand Millennium Business Bay, Dubai


Chef Babuji brings a wealth of culinary expertise honed through prestigious roles at renowned establishments.

His journey spans notable stints at the Trump International Golf Club, where he refined his skills amid luxury and precision.

Prior to that, Chef Panicker showcased his talent at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, where he delved into the intricacies of Middle Eastern cuisine.

His culinary journey commenced at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, where he first made his mark in the vibrant Dubai food scene.

At the Grand Millennium Business Bay, Chef Panicker continues to craft exquisite dishes that reflect his diverse culinary background and meticulous attention to detail.

With a career marked by a dedication to innovation and a passion for creating memorable dining experiences, Chef Panicker’s contributions to the culinary world are both profound and inspiring.

His expertise and creativity make him a standout figure in the industry, enriching the gastronomic landscape of Dubai and beyond.



How long have you been in the kitchen and how did you end up there, such as who inspired you?


I have been in the kitchen for over 21 years. My journey started in my hometown of Kerala, India, where my mother was my first inspiration.

Watching her cook with such love and dedication sparked my passion for cooking. Later, my formal education and training further solidified my career path.


What makes a good chef great?


A good chef becomes great through continuous learning, creativity, and the ability to lead and inspire their team.

Consistency, passion, and an unwavering commitment to quality also play crucial roles.


Describe the process of creating a brand-new menu


Creating a new menu involves several stages: research, conceptualisation, testing, and refinement.

It starts with understanding current food trends while staying true to restaurant cuisine and style.

Then, I brainstorm and draft initial concepts, followed by testing recipes and gathering feedback.

The final stage is refining the dishes to ensure they meet the highest standards of taste and presentation.


What do you eat on your day off?


On my day off, I prefer simple and comforting meals.

A typical choice would be a traditional Kerala meal with rice, sambar, and a variety of vegetable curries.


What is a myth about being a chef that you would like to bust?


A common myth is that being a chef is glamorous.

While it can be rewarding, it also involves long hours, hard work, and constant pressure.

It requires dedication and passion beyond what is often understood.


How do you maintain sustainability in the kitchen?


We maintain sustainability by minimising food waste, sourcing local and seasonal ingredients, and implementing efficient kitchen practices.

We also recycle and use eco-friendly products whenever possible

Your favourite kitchen tool. Why?

My favourite kitchen tool is a chef’s knife.

It is versatile and essential for almost every task in the kitchen, from chopping vegetables to slicing meat.


Why should guests try your dishes?


Guests should try my dishes because they are crafted with a deep passion for authentic flavours and high-quality ingredients.

Each dish reflects my culinary journey and dedication to excellence.


If you weren’t a chef, what would you be instead?


If I weren’t a chef, I would likely be an engineer, given my background in Electronics Telecommunications.

However, my heart has always been in the kitchen, where I can express my creativity and love for food.




Chef Babuji Panicker, Chef De Cuisine Of Grand Millennium Business Bay Dubai


  • Favourite superhero? Batman
  • First food memory? Cooking with my mother
  • Who would you like to cook for dead or alive? Gordon Ramsay
  • A personality trait you would like to possess. Patience
  • Most underrated ingredient? Curry Leaves
  • Favourite meal to cook yourself? Kerela Fish Curry
  • Most exciting city? Thiruvalla, my hometown!
  • Food philosophy? Fresh and authentic food always takes the cake!


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Image credit Grand Millennium Business Bay Dubai

Derek Issacs

A Brit in the Middle East for 25 years and counting, Derek loves scouring the streets for those under-the-radar cultural gems. And when he’s not putting Yalla – Abu Dhabi magazine to bed, you’ll find him working out at the gym.