About the Owner
Born and raised in New Delhi, India. Ajay came to the U.S. in pursuit of an MBA in 1992. Post graduation, his career spanned at the fortune 500 companies from JP Morgan, Deloitte and Touche, Oracle to Cisco etc.
His first exposure to the restaurant industry happened somewhat by accident — while helping a close friend set up his first restaurant in Chicago in 1993.Together they enjoyed tremendous success — and after running several restaurants they opened India House Restaurant and Banquet; the largest Indian banquet in the country, boasting 45,000 sq. feet and 1400 seats worth of banquet space.
In 2000, Ajay left Chicago in order to pursue his day job at Oracle. He soon found that he missed the challenges of being in the restaurant industry, and laid the groundwork for Saffron Indian Bistro in 2002. His vision for Saffron is to have the most authentic Northern Indian Restaurant.
“I learned that the biggest reward for what I do is seeing the emotional impact that building intricate flavor profiles in dishes has on the guests that we serve every day. Other than supporting my loving family, the emotional impact of the food experience is the true reward to me and why we create dishes and the dining experience the way we do everyday at Saffron”.
His drive to keep going is thanks to his explorative spirit — he is constantly examining new ways of thinking, pushing the envelope, and simply being unsatisfied with the status quo. He wants to keep things fresh — as a result, the menu selections, Saffron’s recipes, and our quality of service and ambiance are continually being improved. Our success at Saffron Indian Bistro’s San Carlos location inspires us to share the love of Northern Indian cuisine further.
Chef Parveen K. Sharma was born and raised in Delhi, India. “Cooking was always a hobby and fun way for me to spend quality time, especially around the holidays. When I was in my senior year in high school, I started to pursue a career in cooking with the dream of being a chef. If you asked me then what I would be doing 15 years from now, my response would have been that I’d be the chef of a small restaurant somewhere in Delhi. I never thought that I would travel the country and the world with different hotel companies, managing their operations and gaining exposure as I matured through the industry”.
Since graduating from the Institute of Hotel Management in Delhi with a Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts in 1998, Chef Parveen has successfully trained and partnered with some of the industry’s top hospitality and food service companies. Chef Parveen also holds an MBA in Hotel Management.
Parveen’s training started under two certified Master Chefs at the InterContinental group of hotels in New Delhi. Chef Parveen worked under Master Chef Mohammed and Corporate Master Chef Gulam Rasool of the world famous Baluchi restaurant at the Hilton in New Delhi. Praveen joined Radisson’s The Kabob Factory in 2003, and not long after was promoted to executive chef.
Delhi is synonymous with Mughlai and Frontier cuisines, which are characterized by recipes dating from the times of the Mughals, which have been closely guarded secrets passed down through generations of chefs.
Chef Parveen specializes in Frontier, Mughlai, Hyderabadi and Awadhi cuisines. His
• Silver Medal for “Best Indian Food’’ from the Indian Culinary Institute in a 2001
competition in Delhi.
• Gold Medal in the World Ice Carving competition in Sapporo, Japan in 2003, in
which he represented India and competed against 26 other countries.
• Catered a dinner in 2003 at Prime Minister Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s residence in
• Catered a dinner in 2010 at the Maharaja of Patiala residence, Punjab, in honor of Prince Charles’ visit.