Vikram Sunderam

Group Executive Chef of Rasika, Rasika West End and Bindaas

Vikram SunderamVikram Sunderam joined Washington restaurateur Ashok Bajaj in December 2005 to open the 140-seat Indian hot spot Rasika at 633 D Street, NW. The name Rasika is derived from Sanskrit meaning "flavors" and Chef Vikram Sunderam continues to please critics, celebrities and patrons with his authentic Indian fare with modern flair. Sunderam’s culinary artistry earned him the title "Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic” by James Beard Foundation in 2014. He also was nominated for “Chef of the Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in 2009, 2010, and captured the RAMMY Award for "Chef of Year" in 2012.   In August 2016, Bajaj opened Bindaas a casual restaurant showcasing Indian street food in the Cleveland Park area of DC and once again Sunderam was tapped to spearhead the menu for this lively newcomer.

Shortly after opening, Rasika was named “Top Newcomer” by Zagat for 2007 Washington D.C./Baltimore Dining Guide, “One of The Hottest Restaurants in The World” by Food & Wine magazine, May 2006 and “New Restaurant of the Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in 2007. Esquire named Rasika one of the “Best New Restaurants of 2006” with John Mariani’s praise “Rasika is not just one of the best Indian restaurants in America; it is also one of America’s best restaurants period.” Mariani also made his predictions for 2012 in Esquire that Vikram was his pick for the James Beard Award, “Vikram Sunderam, deserves the award for running the finest Indian restaurant in America."  

In 2007, Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post awarded Rasika with *** ½ stars (out of four) and called Rasika “one of the most exciting Indian restaurants on the East Coast.”  Rasika has gone on to receive “Four Stars” from The Washington Post in the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016 Dining Guide. The restaurant has also consistently been selected on the “100 Best Restaurants” by Washingtonian magazine, ranking number seven in January 2012. DC Modern Luxury magazine also praised Rasika as one of the best dining experiences in the city under Sunderam’s artful hand in the kitchen.

In January 2012, Bajaj named Sunderam Group Executive Chef. Sunderam spearheads the kitchen at Rasika and Rasika West End, which opened in March 2012. Additionally, his responsibilities encompass the menu development and culinary leadership for newcomer Bindaas, which opened with exceptional reviews. Under Sunderam’s leadership in the kitchen, Bindaas was named among the 52 best restaurants in The Washington Post Fall Dining Guide in October 2016 with 2.5 (out of four) stars and it captured three (out of four) stars from Washingtonian in November 2016

Before making the leap to Washington, Sunderam was at the award-winning Bombay Brasserie in London for 14 years, eight of which he served as the executive chef. During his tenure at Bombay Brasserie, Sunderam also gained experience cooking for large scale, high profile events.

Sunderam, a native of Bombay, India began his career in 1985 when he joined the Taj Mahal Hotel group. During his training with this prestigious company, he worked at several of their properties including Riverview Lodge where he was promoted to Head Chef. Sunderam received an Advanced Food Hygiene Certificate from Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London and prior to that he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Osmania University (Hyderabad) and Diploma in Hotel Administration and Food Technology from Sophia Polytechnic in Bombay.

Sunderam currently resides in McLean, Virginia with his wife and two children. When he is not in the kitchen cooking, Vikram can be found enjoying sports such as football, cricket, hockey, table tennis and basketball, playing the drums or immersed in a good book.
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