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Corporate manager of culinary services, Delmanor
Country of Origin: India
A graduate of the School of Hotel Management and Culinary Arts in India, Divakar Raju began his career at the Taj Group of Hotels as a chef. In the time since, he has worked around the world and is a certified food professional. In 1998, Raju moved to Toronto, where his career progressed from positions in the Canadian hotel services toward food services in the retirement industry, and he joined the Delmanor (Tridel) Team in 2011.
For nearly a decade, Chef Divakar, affectionately called Chef D among the Delmanor community, has brought his passion and dedication to the Delmanor Team. He began working at the Northtown Delmanor Community before being promoted into the role of corporate manager of culinary services in 2015. As the Delmanor brand and community has grown, Raju has risen to every occasion, providing fresh, healthy and unique food options on each menu and setting forth the highest standards amongst his peers and his team. Raju strives to create a healthy corporate culture and increase the visibility of senior focused cuisine.
Working to spread the word about the benefits of such culture, Raju has penned articles for Delmanor itself and other key industry publications like Nourish Magazine for Sysco National, Canadian Restaurant and Food Service Magazine, and Resto Biz.
He works to pay it forward to meaningful charitable organizations and inspires others to do better and give back.
Raju mentors his chefs and fellow food service professionals, including those who are new to Canada, helping them gain their Canadian credentials (such as obtaining their Red Seal Chef Certification). He provides personal attention as someone with an intimate understanding of what it is like to be new to the country, allowing them to thrive and meet their personal and professional goals.
As part of a new partnership with the Toronto Police, Chef Divakar Raju is working with Pro-action Cops & Kids and the Falstaff Community Centre, and launched the Growing Chefs Youth Program. The program is designed to teach kids the basic and essential skills of a prep chef. Partners hope to introduce the participants to the culinary arts with the hopes of igniting a passion for cooking. But we also seek to go beyond the culinary world and hope to instill in each youth, life lessons that will transfer to any profession or endeavour.