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Iconic Chef Imtiaz Qureshi, Master Of 'Dum Pukht' Style Of Cooking, Passes Away At 93

Born in 1931 in Lucknow, Imtiaz Qureshi is credited to be the mastermind behind some of the iconic hotels across the country, including world-renowned brands like Delhi's Dum Pukht and Bukhara at ITC Maurya.

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Chef Imtiaz Qureshi, a Padma Shri awardee, was known for having revived the old Lucknowi tradition of 'dum pukht' cooking style. Photo: X/@ranveerbrar
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Legendary chef Imtiaz Qureshi, known to be the mastermind behind iconic hotels like Delhi's Dum Pukht and Bukhara at ITC Maurya, passed away on Friday of age-related ailments at the age of 93 at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital.

The last rites were performed in the afternoon.

Chef Imtiaz Qureshi, a Padma Shri awardee, was known for having revived the old Lucknowi tradition of 'dum pukht' cooking style.

"He had been admitted in the hospital for the last 14 days. There was no one specific health condition. He was diabetic, so there were problems related to that," Ishtiyaque Qureshi, his son, said.

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Ishtiyaque Qureshi added that his father spent time with family members Thursday night and also talked to his grandchildren through video call. "At around 4 am this morning, his condition deteriorated as his oxygen saturation level also dropped. The doctors tried but could not revive him," Imtiaz Qureshi's son said.

Imtiaz Qureshi, survived by five sons and two daughters, was born on February 2, 1931 in Lucknow. Throughout a career spanning over five decades, Qureshi served several lavish banquets to the the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi in the 1960s.

For his contributions to the culinary arts, the chef was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 2016, becoming the first in the chef community to receive it.

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Tributes poured in on social media on the demise of the iconic chef. Renowned chef Kunal Kapur wrote on microblogging platform X that Imtiaz Qureshi's culinary legacy and contributions will forever be remembered and cherished.

Ranveer Brar remembered his days as a trainee chef at the Taj Palace and going to ITC Maurya next door to have Galouti Kebab at Dum Pukht and called it a "life changing" experience.

"As a Lucknow boy with dreams of becoming a chef, the folklore of Imtiaz Qureshi is something I grew up with. It was around 1998-1999 when I was working as a trainee chef at the Taj Palace in Delhi. I remember once taking the Rs. 612/- I had earned to ITC Maurya next door and having only the Galouti Kebab at Dum Pukht. The fact that I was eating @LegendOfImtiaz Qureshi's food in an ITC hotel was life changing for me," Brar wrote on X.

He added, "Not only had he pulled the dum pukht technique out of Lucknow, he had given it a personality, an unmistakable refinement. RIP chef, your legacy lives on forever."

(with PTI inputs)

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