‘Highlight of my culinary career’ – Chef Suresh Pillai reminisces moment when he served MS Dhoni

Jun 4, 2023

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MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India and legendary Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni has garnered massive love from fans for his invaluable contributions during his stint as a professional cricketer. The 41-year-old, recently, clinched the record-equalling fifth title after triumphing over Gujarat Titans (GT) in the summit clash of the IPL 2023.

In a career spanning over a decade, Dhoni has travelled to various places across countries on assignments and attained glory on numerous occasions. On one such travel to Trivandrum in Kerala, during the series against West Indies in 2018, Dhoni struck a chord with the British-born chef, Suresh Pillai. Chef Pillai took to his social media handle to share his ‘dream’ meeting with the legendary skipper who lifted the IPL trophy for a record fifth time. 

“October 31, 2018. India was playing West Indies in Trivandrum and the team was staying at the Leela, Kovalam, where I was working then. From the moment the team got off the bus, my eyes were searching for one man. He greeted all of us with his trademark, warm smile and made his way to the suite,” read his tweet.

suresh pillai@chef_pillai
When the whole world was celebrating the legend and the heart of Indian Cricket yesterday night, I was still in awe of the time I had the privilege of serving him 5 years back. October 31, 2018. India was playing West Indies in Trivandrum and the team was staying at the Leela,… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
06:20 PM · May 31, 2023

While most of the squad wanted to have seafood, Dhoni preferred Chicken curry and rice coupled with spicy rasam as he conversed with Chef Pillai in Tamil.

Nothing could have topped that feeling: Chef Pillai

“’Hi Chef! How’re you? What’s there for dinner?’, he asked me in a mix of Hindi and Tamil. I gave him an assortment of seafood to choose from. ‘I can’t have seafood, Chef. I am allergic. Can I get some Chicken curry and rice? I would also like some spicy rasam since I have a sore throat (Poondu Rasam kedakkuma? is what he asked!),” Chef Pillai revealed his conversation with Dhoni.

Thereafter, the next day while on his way to the gym, MSD stopped by the chef to greet him and told him that his food was delicious. As the food was prepared at such short notice, Pillai felt over the moon on receiving such a benevolent compliment from his idol. Years after, recalling the moment the chef believes that MS Dhoni’s compliment has been the greatest achievement in his culinary career to date.

“I returned with the food to room no.302: Chettinad Chicken, Basmati Rice, Roasted Pappadam, and Rasam with a hearty serving of pepper and garlic. The next morning, he got hold of me while on the way to the gym and told me he loved the dinner! I felt like I was over the moon – nothing could have topped that feeling!” he added.

“The fact that I was able to serve and make one of my biggest idols happy, even if it was just for 4 days, would always be a highlight of my culinary career. Once in a while, someone comes along and makes the world stay still. You were, are and always will be our Thala who made the world stay still,” his tweet concluded.

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