Meet our Head Chef Xerxes Bodhanwala

Introducing you to our head chef Xerxes Bodhanwala… 

Our Executive Chef Alejandro Saravia and Head Chef Xerxes Bodhanwala have been friends for close to ten years. A shared love of Peruvian food, local produce and stunning seafood solidified this friendship and it was only fitting that Xerxes take on the role at Uma.

Xerxes received his diploma in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney straight out of high school.

Since then, Xerxes has worked at venues like Firefly Tapas and Wine Bar, Meat and Wine Company, Firefly Lodge, Club Med, Ribs and Rumps and chef Alejandro Saravia’s restaurant Morena in Sydney. He’s also worked in India, running Red Fork Deli in Indiranagar, Bengaluru.

Xerxes brings his classical training and international experience to Uma, heading up our kitchen under chef Alejandro. 

We chat to Xerxes to get to know him a little better. 

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Welcome to Perth! What’s it like living on the west coast?

Really loving it! I love the city, the weather and the people. It’s a great place to live.

You met chef Alejandro in 2011 just before he opened Morena. How did you guys connect?

We connected through my wife who worked with Ale when he was doing a dinner promoting Peruvian food in Sydney. All these years later, I’m one of his head chefs.

It’s weird how things work out!

Yes, it's great. I’m very honoured to be given this opportunity to run one of his restaurants. He is a celebrated chef in Australia, and I love learning from him.

You did your culinary arts training at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney. What was that experience like and how did it prepare you for your career in cooking?

The experience was great. It really opened my eyes to the culinary world. Learning the basics there introduced me to a whole new range of ingredients and cooking techniques. That experience made me care about the ingredient I cook with. It formed the basis of everything that would come.

You worked at your mum’s Parsi restaurant, Daddy’s Deli, in Bangalore when you were young and this inspired your love of food. What are some of your fondest food memories from your childhood?

I used to enjoy mixing different ingredients and making my own sandwiches, and giving it to my mum to try out. Maybe this is where it all started? Who knows! I also remember eating my granny’s food. So good!

What’s your favourite dish to cook at Uma?

I enjoy making the Ceviche Peruano. it's the first Peruvian dish I tried and the first dish i learned from Chef Alejandro so it has a special meaning for me.

Any new dishes you/Alejandro are creating for the future?

We are always in discussion about new dishes. We try present our experiments as specials every fortnight.

Laura Moseley