Cyrus Rustom Todiwala OBE, DL, (born 16 October 1956), is an Indian chef proprietor of Café Spice Namasté and a celebrity television chef. He trained at the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces chain in India, and rose to become executive chef for eleven restaurants within those hotels. He moved to the UK in 1991 with his family, and following some initial financial difficulties after taking over a restaurant, Michael Gottlieb provided investment funding, allowing Todiwala to open Café Spice Namasté in 1995, the restaurant for which he is best known.
He has subsequently launched a range of condiments and sauces called Mr Todiwala’s, and a second restaurant called Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, which is located at the Hilton at Heathrow Airport near Terminal 5. He was awarded an MBE in 2000, and an OBE in 2009. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorateand been made an honorary professor. In 2012, he cooked for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes, such as the BBC radio 1 Saturday Cook show.
In 2000, Todiwala was awarded an MBE for services to the restaurant and catering industry. He was subsequently appointed an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List. He was given a special award at the Craft Guild of Chefs awards in 2012 for “outstanding contribution to the industry”. He has subsequently become a judge for The Catey Awards.
He has long been a proponent of staff training, and earned an Investors in People for Café Spice Namasté. This training approach also saw him awarded an Education and Training Catey award in 2005. Also in 2005, he won the special award at the Springboard Awards for Excellence.
In 2009, he was given an honorary doctorate by London Metropolitan University. He was also made an honorary professor of Thames Valley Universityand a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London. He was also named in the foodie section of the Evening Standard’s list of London’s one thousand most influential people in 2010. This saw him listed alongside other chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver. He was first listed in Who’s Who in 2011.
Television and radio work
Todiwala regularly appears on cooking television shows such as BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, UKTV Food’s Market Kitchen, ITV’s Daybreak and Channel 4’s Drop Down Menu. On radio, he has appeared in slots on channels such as the BBC Radio stations Radio 4, Radio 5 Live, and the BBC World Service.
In 2013 Todiwala partnered with Tony Singh to present their own cookery show on BBC Two, The Incredible Spice Men: Todiwala And Singh.
He has also appeared on “Britain’s Natural World: Unnatural History of London” discussing his love of British birds.
In 2018 Todiwala appeared on BBC Ones’s of Royal Recipes to recreate the pudding that was served by him on Queens Diamond Jubilee function.