Yeshi Sumdup Lama or as he is more fondly known, Lamaji, is the Shakti head chef.
Yeshi Lama was born in January 1964, in Jimmythang, a small village in Arunachal Pradesh. His father was a Tantric monk from the Niema sect, the type of monks who are permitted to marry. When Yeshi was only eight years old, his father sadly died and he was sent to the local monastery where he joined the Gyalukpa Sect. Studying Tantric Buddhism, he remained there until he was 25.
The student monks were taken to Nepal for a two month holiday but the adventurous Yeshi stayed on for six months which meant he was not allowed to return to the monastery. Ready to explore and have some adventures, he travelled to Delhi and then on to Dharamsala and Manali where he worked on trekking expeditions as a porter.
On his return to Delhi, he took a job in a hotel kitchen quickly climbing the ladder to become Head Chef. Soon he began to miss the mountains, so returned to Manali to work as a chef on the treks. In 2005, Yeshi started to work for Shakti and is today, one of the most loved characters within the Shakti family.
His knowledge comes exclusively from hands-on experience and a love of food versus formal training. Yeshi simply loves to teach his guests how to cook special signature Shakti dishes. Many dishes from the eclectic menu are made from family heirloom recipes of Shakti’s owner, Mr Jamshyd Sethna. Ranging from Parsi cuisine, dishes such as apricot chicken, the delicious Burmese dish Khowsuey and Samosas are just a few of the favourites. Shakti 360 Leti was awarded Relais & Chateaux status – the smallest property in the world to claim this! Fingers crossed a Yeshi cook book is planned for the future!