New Exec Chef brings fresh flavour to Hilton Colombo | Sunday Observer

New Exec Chef brings fresh flavour to Hilton Colombo

Executive Chef Robert Mujagic
Executive Chef Robert Mujagic

Hilton Colombo has consolidated itself as a creative culinary venue in the city. Food creates fellowship. Robert Mujagic a native of Stuttgart, Germany has taken over the mantle of the Hilton kitchens. I met up with the amiable Chef who joined the culinary business since 17 year of age. He explained, “My main influence was my beloved grandmother. We used to visit her farm as children during summer vacation. Here she made simple but tasty food. It had a wonderful impact on me, and thus began my cooking journey.” He started his apprenticeship as a chef at a small, gault millau and michelin star rated fine dining restaurant. With over 28 years of extensive culinary experience, he is currently the Executive Chef at Hilton Colombo, having travelled here before almost 12 years ago as a curious tourist. Even at that stage he was fascinated by our spices, seafood, tea and street food.

During his challenging journey to become an Executive Chef Robert had the opportunity to work in many different countries, e.g. Germany, Russia, the Maldives, Croatia, Turkey, Thailand and Sri Lanka. He recollects the tenure in Russia, “I was able to cook for three Russian Presidents. It was an honour to serve them.” Robert adds “When I was working in the Maldives, I met music legend Paul McCartney - of the Beatles. He was a simple guy and wanted me to make a seafood dish which he enjoyed, it was a beautiful encounter.”

Chef Robert has worked with talented Sri Lankan chefs before, he explains, “I was employed for over three years on luxury 5 star cruise liners like Vistafjord, Royal Viking Sun, Seaborn Legend, and Azamara Journey, and sailing around the world twice, taught me about many different cultures and cooking techniques. It was a lovely manifestation of cultures, and cooking techniques. During this time there were almost 50 chefs from Sri Lanka, and they worked well as a team. So, being here I am well adjusted to your culture, in a certain sense. I love spicy food. For now my desired dish is your kottu rotti”.

Chef Robert is here with his wife Becky and 5 year old son.

The prudent chef comments, “Extremely important for me are all the interesting people I met all over the world and working for great employers as Hilton International, was always connected with gaining a lot of experience. Working at dream destinations such as, Conrad Maldives Ithaa Underwater Restaurant, as executive chef and serving creative cuisine to amazing people, makes my life complete.

Moving to Sri Lanka a fortnight ago has made a dream come true for me. After extensive travelling, it was always my dream to work in your exotic beautiful country; joining Hilton Colombo and being part of the family was the long waited opportunity. Robert takes this new appointment after working at the Hilton Thailand for 10 years. Commenting on the present food trends he is positive that with time, we will focus more on organic cuisine. He is exuberant about the abundance of fresh local seafood, with so much of variety.

Chef Robert adds, “Feeling like I have the freedom to express myself to the fullest and being creative, to try a lot of new creations, makes me feel at home away from home.” When he is not creating menus and cooking, this dynamic person spends time with his family. Executive Chef Robert is confident that his team will maintain the rich culinary legacy at Hilton Colombo.