City-based chef Meril Anthony Aricatt received the Best Chef of the Year award, as part of the National Tourism Awards, at a function in New Delhi on March 28.

He is employed as Executive Chef with The Gateway Hotel here. He received the award from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in the presence of Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay.

The National Tourism awards are meant to recognise notable achievements by people in tourism and culture. At a press conference here on Saturday, he said that there were many criteria for selecting the best chef. Meril Anthony Aricatt had authored a book ‘backwaters cuisine' on seafood, and this proved an added advantage for him in the selection process. Designing and preparing a new menu, standardisation of recipes, buffet presentations were few other plus points, he added. Gateway Hotel General Manager Srinivas Lahiri said that Mr. Aricatt had set a benchmark of standards for chefs. Former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Queen Elizabeth II and the Second and Duke of Edinburgh were some of the VIPs whom Mr. Aricatt served.