Chef Sudhakar N. Rao started off with his career as an apprentice with The Ritz -Hyderabad. During his apprenticeship, he felt the need of a professional qualification in Hotel Management, that is when he joined the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition, Hyderabad in the year 1986. He was absorbed by the Taj Group of hotels as a Trainee Chef, on successful completion of his three year diploma. Soon he started making his mark in the culinary circles of India by winning numerous chef competitions both locally & nationally. It was only when he left the Indian shores that his career got a major boost. In the year 1991-92 he won the Inter Cruise Line Cold Buffet competition in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. His hard work, dedication and skills earned him acceptance into the American Culinary Federation – the world’s most prestigious chef organization – as a member in the year 1993, which is a rare distinction for any Indian Culinary Professional.
On coming back to India, Chef Rao felt that the hotel management courses conducted across the country are not helping students strive for excellence in the culinary profession. The courses were more generalized one’s and doesn’t emphasize much on the culinary front. This lacuna made him feel the immediate need for a culinary institute in India, which would be on par with the International Culinary institutes which will offer full fledged culinary program much on the lines of the American and European Culinary education patterns. Taking the help of qualified chefs from abroad and India, culinarians from leading culinary institutes in America and hoteliers from India a professional non-profit organization was founded in 1996 by the name Paragon Educational Society, Chef Rao was made the founder Secretary of Paragon Educational Society in 1996 and was also given the core responsibility of setting up the culinary institute and also made the Director / Principal. This professional body is the moving force behind the Culinary Academy of India
He was the brain behind striking international training contracts for CAI with leading Cruise Line companies namely P&O Cruises, UK, Princess Cruises, USA and Costa Cruises, Italy for their pre-embarkation training. His concept of simulated cruise kitchen training modules was well received in Europe and America and within 5years CAI has got the rare distinction of placing 2500 young Indian chefs in Europe and America. Today after thirteen long years CAI has positioned itself as a pioneer then and leader now in the culinary circles of Ind
Today Chef Rao’s continuous and uncompromised efforts has given a whole new dimension to the concept of culinary training in India. His unparalleled approached and high commitment has made CAI a brand to reckon with not only in India but internationally. His innovative thought in developing new concepts in cruise line training for prospective crew members has made India “A NEW PORT OF CALL“ for cruise line employment and many leading cruise line companies have made India their recruitment & training ground.
Chef Rao is a noted food stylist for many newspapers and magazines in India and a guest chef on TV9 a leading TV channel. Chef Rao was the person who brought the Culinary Professionals of Andhra Pradesh under one roof and was the force behind the formation of Culinary Association of Andhra Pradesh in 2004 and was the founder Secretary of the CAAP. During his tenure as the secretary of Culinary Association of Andhra Pradesh a charity dinner for Tsunami Victims was held and also a culinary contest for students of various catering & culinary colleges was conducted for the first time in India by a professional culinary body.