Koushik Shankar (popularly known as ‘The Mad Chef’) is an Indian chef and restauranter. In 2023, he appeared as a judge in season 2 of the Tamil cookery TV show ‘MasterChef India – Tamil,’ which premiered on the OTT platform SonyLIV.
Koushik Shankar was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He did his schooling at Mallya Aditi International School, Bangalore. He pursued a diploma in French Linguistic Skills at Alliance Francaise De Bangalore, Bengalore. In 1997, he received a diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management, Bangalore. He received a Post Graduate Diploma In Business Analytics from Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about his parents and siblings,
Wife & Children
There is not much information about his marital status.
Koushik Shankar started his career in 1997 as a Tr. Chef De Partie (station chef) at the Leela Kempinsky (now The Leela) in Mumbai. He worked there for a few months and later resigned from the job. Later, he worked as a Product Development Manager for more than two years (1997-1999) at the Cafe Coffee Day, located in Mumbai. In September 1999, he joined the Chimayo Chains Private Limited, Chennai, where he worked as a Product Development and Marketing Manager. After working there for more than three years, he resigned from the job in October 2002. He worked as a Product Development Manager at Java Green Private Limited, Chennai. He worked there for more than three years (October 2002-February 2006). In 2006, he created his own food and beverages consultancy company ‘Eatitude Gourmet Technologists.’ He has worked as consultant for various cafes and restaurants including Toss Up, Illusions, Peach’s, Simply South, Azzuri Bay, The Tower (North Carolina), Mantra (North Carolina), Hundred’s Heritage, Coal N Flame, Eleven Fine Dining, Greens N Grains, Raakozhi, Sri Krishna Rassa, Sri Krishna Gokulams, Sri Krishna Sweets, The Gig, Texas Fiesta, The Bayleaf, M.A.S.H., Chennai Chillin’, Hazzel Dairy, The Madaras Kafe, Boomerang, Soup and Salad Café, Dewberry’s, Funk N Jazz, Kalmane Koffees, Java Green and Qwiky’s.
Koushik Shankar has appeared as a main chef in the Tamil cookery TV shows ‘Masala Express’ and ‘Thamizhagathin Samayal Champion,’ which aired on Jaya TV. In 2021, he appeared as a judge in season 1 of the cookery TV show ‘MasterChef India – Tamil,’ which aired on Sun TV. He also appeared as a judge in season 2 of the TV show in 2023. Season 2 of the TV was premiered on the OTT platform SonyLIV.
In 2022, he made an episodic appearance in the debate cum talk show ‘Tamizha Tamizha.’ The TV show was broadcast on the channel Zee Tamil. In the same year, he appeared as a visiting judge in the comedy-based cooking competition TV show ‘Cooku with Comali,’ which was aired on Star Vijay.
In 2022, he, along with Ranveer Brar, was the judge at the Merit Awards & Market Research, held in New Delhi. In the same year, has been a jury member for a few more award ceremonies such as ‘The Food Connoisseur India Award,’ ‘Indian International Victory Awards,’ and ‘Restaurant Awards.’
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- President’s Medal 2023 by IFCA
- Best Chef award by Tamil Tourism 2017
- An award at the Indian Restaurant Congress 2017
- Times Hospitality Icon 2019
- Times Food Award 2016
He has got a Japanese dragon tattoo inked on his right full arm.
- He had a passion for cooking since childhood. In an interview, he revealed that he tried Chinese cuisine after taking inspiration from a comic book titled ‘Asterix In Spain’ when he was only five years old.
- In an interview, he talked about how he was named as ‘The Mad Chef’ and said,
I got the nickname Mad Chef back in college when my instructors saw that I had done South Indian food with Continental presentation. And the name stuck.”
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