In the heart of the historical city of Jaipur, a story unfolds within the opulent walls of the Crowne Plaza. It’s not a tale of the royals or the ancient sand dunes but of Socorro, the hotel’s flagship restaurant. To me, Socorro isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a haven, mirroring my journey as a cancer survivor – both marked by resilience, introspection, and finding beauty in life’s simplest moments.
Battling cancer is a test of spirit, patience, and resilience. It’s a time when the little things matter the most. In that, I find a parallel with the culinary arts. Both require precision, care, love, and the ability to find beauty in the simplest ingredients. And this artistry is what the team at Socorro brings to the table.
Chef Hemant Kumar, a maestro in the true sense, crafts dishes that are more than just meals; they’re experiences. With Supervisor Chef Harminder Singh at his side, the kitchen hums with creativity, passion, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Their synergy translates into dishes that echo with the rich tapestry of India’s culinary legacy, ensuring each dish tells a story.
However, the magic of Socorro isn’t confined to the kitchen. Executive Kamal Kant, with a heart full of passion and an eye for detail, bridges the gap between the kitchen and the dining floor. His mission is clear – ensuring every guest feels cherished and valued. And then there’s the young intern, Sharanya Dev Sawhney. Despite his brief tenure, Sharanya has an uncanny ability to bring a touch of magic to every table, proving that age is no bar for excellence.
One particular evening stands out in my memory. The challenge? To serve an array of classic dishes – the sumptuous kaddu ki sabzi, the ever-crunchy bhindi, the comforting aloo gobi, and the soul-soothing dal chawal – all prepared from scratch and served piping hot in under twenty minutes. An ambitious challenge, but the team at Socorro was ready.
As Chef Hemant and Chef Harminder orchestrated a culinary ballet in the kitchen, infusing love and warmth into every dish, Kamal and Sharanya were the dynamic duo ensuring that the dance continued seamlessly onto the dining floor. With every plate that was served, with every smile exchanged, and with every morsel savored, the room resonated with the passion and commitment of the team.
That evening, as I savored the kaddu ki sabzi, a dish I had countless times before, it tasted different. It wasn’t just the pumpkin or the spices but the essence of Socorro itself – a blend of commitment, love, resilience, and the magic of human connection.
Life has taught me that battles are not fought alone. It’s the unwavering spirit, the collective strength, and the moments of joy in between that make the journey worthwhile. And that evening at Socorro, as I witnessed the team’s camaraderie, their relentless drive, and the sheer love poured into every dish, I was reminded once again of the beauty of life, resilience, and the joy in savoring every moment.
Pratibha Rajguru, a notable writer and philanthropist, is esteemed for her considerable literary undertakings and devotion to family. Her scholarly proficiency, rooted in Hindi Literature, Philosophy, Ayurved, Naturopathy and Hindu scriptures, illuminates her diverse freelance portfolio. Furthering her impact, in the early Seventies, her editorial role at Dharmyug, a respected Hindi weekly by the Times of India Group, underscores her multifaceted literary influence. Currently, she’s enhancing her literary footprint by compiling a collection of poems, writing a book titled Sankalp Shakti about her battle with gastro intestinal cancer and spearheading Pratibha Samvad, an online portal to showcase her contributions to the literary field.