Celebrated chef Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra, popularly called Jiggs Kalra also known as the czar of Indian cuisine, passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday. He was 72 and unwell for the past few weeks.
His son Zorawar shared an update about his health on Instagram last month.
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Today is my father, Jiggs Kalra’s 72nd Birthday. This is the first time unfortunately it has been celebrated in hospital, as he isn’t well. Last year we celebrated it together as a family. Nothing matters more than time spent with your parents as each and every single Birthday matters. He is a toughie. Has been battling his stroke for 19 years and will be back soon. Roaring.
The cremation will be held on Thursday at the Lodhi crematorium.
Twitter is now flooded with celebrity friends mourning the loss and remembering the food pioneer.
Goodbye old friend.The great Jiggs Kalra who did so much to rediscover the lost secrets of Indian food and who gave chefs their rightful place in the sun goes off to that great kitchen in the sky to ensure that the gods eat his wonderful food.There will never be another Jiggs pic.twitter.com/MhgBJ5NLg8— vir sanghvi (@virsanghvi) June 4, 2019
My deepest condolences to @ZorawarKalra & Dildeep.They were the best son & daughter-in-law Jiggs Kalra could ever have hoped for.— vir sanghvi (@virsanghvi) June 4, 2019
At this sad time I remember how Zorawar kept his father’s legacy alive and turned Jiggs’s name into a global brand.I know how proud Jiggs was. pic.twitter.com/awYE4PVkFX
RIP Jiggs Kalra. Thank you for introducing me to Indian food and it's treasure of recipes. All your books adorn my bookshelf and the masala and oil on each page is testimony to how your recipes have shaped my passion for cooking. ???— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) June 4, 2019
Kalra, who started off his career as a food columnist, went on to become a food consultant in the 1980s and also authored 11 books on Indian cuisine in a career spanning close to five decades. He was instrumental in introducing Indian cuisine to an international audience, serving dignitaries like Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Bill Clinton.
He represented India at various international food festivals and summits and was also the first Asian to get inducted in the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame.
Kalra was the first to conceptualise and host an Indian food-based television series and also launched restaurants like Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, Made in Punjab, Farzi Café and Pa Pa Ya.