Dina’s Thoughts
Most renowned chefs begin illustrious careers by skillfully mastering their native cuisines before venturing into foreign territories. This wasn’t the case for Jay Mariadoss, owner/chef of Indian Palate. Then again, Jay isn’t just another chef. Born in a remote area of southern India, Chef Jay discovered a passionate obsession with food through watching his mother preparing family meals. To this day, he recalls the swishing of her brightly colored sari as she expertly moved from frying samosas to kneading dough for naan. Hailing from a family of engineers though, a desire to pursue uncharted dreams was never understood nor was it supported. Despite being ostracized and ridiculed for taking the road far less traveled, Chef Jay boldly seized the day, venturing into the cut-throat culinary world.

Within a few short years, he’d risen in ranks in Taj Hotels in India, his unusual and undeniable talents having been recognized early on by international award winning mentors. By 22, he had already mastered the arts of French, Italian, Thai and Chinese cuisines, along with exceptional abilities in ice carving. Jay dedicated every waking moment to perfecting his craft of avant-garde French presentations and techniques, delicate preparations of sauces and of course, the entire range of exact, authentic flavoring to execution of large events under tremendous pressure.

From India to the Caribbean islands and the Americas, Jay left an indelible mark as a tough but compassionate leader and brilliant creator of innovative recipes infusing herbs and spices few others can spell. After stints at both Hotel Victor and the Coral Gables Hyatt, Jay finally succumbed to his greatest love of all- his native Indian cuisine. Indian Palate was thus born, a Miami masterpiece truly risen from the sheer determination and passion of a man who runs on little more than four hours of sleep each night. With a lovely wife who is currently studying for her Ph.D., a little boy and a newborn baby, it is a wonder how Chef Jay manages to translate his beautiful dream into reality day after day at Indian Palate.

Returning to his roots, Jay called upon the same woman who had long ago disapproved of his career choice to help him hone his skills in Indian cuisine- his mother. Hoping desperately to introduce Miami to a truly authentic array of dishes from India’s indigenous regions, Jay spent precious moments learning from his 82 year old mother. Despite years of contention over diverging opinions and dreams, mother and son shared history, recipes and laughter over handfuls of turmeric, cumin and garlic. As Jay had always believed, home cooked food brings family and friends together.

Never touching processed materials, he’s adamant about using fresh ingredients, resulting in cuisine that can only be described as exquisite and remarkable. Indian Palate’s vibrant colors and intense flavors transport guests to another era where food was to be savored and service was seamless. In an economic downturn, the courage to dream, the dedication to follow through and the talent to produce results should inspire us all to smile as brightly as Chef Jay does on a daily basis. Chef Jay Mariadoss is unquestionably one of the most talented and best Indian American chefs to date.