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  • Chris Saleem - Consultant Chef

    Kitchen Conversations

    He’s been at the top echelons of Goa’s culinary revolution ever since he arrived 15 years ago armed with experience in the US and Spain. Christopher Saleem Aga Bee has romanced dozens of gourmands through his dishes – deep, meaningful creations that respond to his imagination and evident love for food. Having lived in America and Europe, and having visited India fairly regularly, his repertoire is unimaginably wide and features influences from his various experiences. Chris opened his first restaurant in Goa at 24 and continues to blow patrons away with his gastronomic touch. At Tavern @ Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel, he lends his creative vision to the menu, complementing beautifully the unmatched ambience and views with simply exquisite dishes.

    How would you describe your menu at Tavern @ Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel?

    It’s basically a tapas-style menu with Spanish and Portuguese elements being the primary influences. Being in Goa, we are surrounded by certain ingredients specific to this region so the menu has also been influenced by the local produce. We use certain masalas peculiar to the region, local fruits like triphala and Goan pork sausage. Fresh seafood is also a huge bonus.

    How do you feel the ambience and setting at Tavern @ Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel marries with your culinary philosophy?

    The interiors of Tavern are European and contemporary with a strong Baroque element. There’s lots of gold, maroon and burgundy, and the overall setting has an attention to detail not found anywhere else in Goa. So when we discussed the menu, we didn’t want anything incredibly heavy. We wanted a creatively put together meal with consciously sourced ingredients that are caught and bought locally. Our fish, for example, comes from Goa or Vengurla just across the border in Maharashtra, so it’s really very fresh. Overall, the menu is not something that’s very heavy; it’s not sophisticated. Tavern is not meant to be something complex, but something small that allows guests to be comfortably full.

    In what way does the concept at Tavern @ Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel differ in comparison to your own two seasonal restaurants Elevar and Sublime?

    Elevar is a day restaurant that’s very open, and very ‘beachy’. Sublime, on the other hand, is small, dark and closed. Both focus on sophisticated food. Tavern @ Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel focuses on tapas – simple and classic.

    Full name

    Michael Custodio Miguel Rodrigues (known as Michael)

     

    Designation at hotel

    F&B Restaurant Manager – the Tavern

     

    Age

    40

     

    Where did you grow up?

    Tiracol Village

     

    When did you start working here?

    First in 1994- 1999 and now from 16 March 2015.

     

    What do you remember of the Tiracol Fort as a child? What does the fort mean to you (and your family)?

    We used to come here with friends and family. And used to show the fort to relatives from Mumbai. The Family is very proud of the Fort and thought of it as a guesthouse where foreigners came to stay. Because of the Fort, People know about the Village. People would come to see the Village because of the Fort.

     

    How does it feel to now be working here?

    I feel really proud and it is a pleasure to work here. I worked here till 1999 and was restricted as we didn’t have a proper bar and no proper cutlery. When the Gama family ran it they had a good chef but could only serve them Port Wine, Riviera along with top class food. I always wanted someone to come over invest and turn it into a 5star property. Now I am proud that it has come true. When I was here earlier I wanted to satisfy the guests and then God brought me back to a place that had transformed and made it special.

     

    What do you like about working at the hotel?

    From my childhood, most of the Villagers stayed in Bombay and used to come down for holidays. They used to have a lunch for all the Villagers with very basic dishes – little puri’s, prawns, etc. this was a joyous time for the whole village and I always liked to serve people.

     

    What did you study and how did you come to work at the hotel?

    I finished my SSC (10th) and couldn’t study because of family financial difficulties and joined her only for 3 months – I was the first employee. I stayed on for 5 years and worked in the Dubai Creek and Yacht Club till 2010 August. I then came back to help in the case against the Leading Hotels and to settle my family here What do other people think of what when you talk about Tiracol. Especially the fort as a historical place People talk about its beauty. It is the last green place because the rest of Goa has become concrete. Tourists come to Goa because of this. They are amazed because of the Well maintained church and we come here for everything – Weddings, confirmations, baptism’s etc. I was baptized here, married here and both my sons were baptized here as well.

     

    What do you do when you are not working here?

    I fish and have a small trawler and nets. It is a business that I help my brother with. I also Play Guitar and fish when I can. I used to play football when I had the time.

     

    What is your favorite dish?

    I like Chinese Fried fish and Grilled fish ( Kingfish) with Garlic Butter sauce.

     

    What dish at the Restaurant do you like the most?

    I like the Fillet fish with Chorizo, Goan fish curry, Seafood Salad, Vitello Tor***.

     

    What dishes do guests say that they like the best?

    Same as above, Kerala Style Molho.

    Full name

    Caraciol Constancio Rodrigues

     

    Designation at hotel

    Waiter

     

    Age

    24

     

    Where did you grow up?

    Tiracol Village

     

    When did you start working here?

    1. December 2015

     

    What do you remember of the Tiracol Fort as a child? What does the fort mean to you (and your family)?

    The Fort is an old Place descended from the Shivaji days then the Portuguese and then the church and now the Hotel. We used to come here for Mass and Xmas and New Years. Used to come with friends. I also used to pray at the Church as a child and to be working here is amazing.

     

    How does it feel to now be working here?

    Very good and I am happy to work here. Because of the church and the views and it is close to my house. I go back to help my mom and dad after work – seaside bar and Restaurant so the distance is very helpful. Also having worked here is a very proud thing for me considering the history. I had a job offer from the Taj and refused it and now am very happy.

     

    What do you like about working at the hotel?

    Serving Guests and making them happy. The People working with me are very nice as well. I am also very happy to be working in front of the church and St. Anthony Church. The views are amazing.

     

    What did you study and how did you come to work at the hotel?

    Finished 10th, then 1-year Hotel Management course at IHM in service. Then I heard about the hotel re-opening, applied and then they hired me.

     

    What do other people think of what when you talk about Tiracol. Especially the fort as a historical place

    They say it is a nice place with Nice food. They also find the Church beautiful and ask to see it and step in for Mass.

     

    What do you do when you are not working here?

    I help my mom and dad with their business. Earlier I used to play football with friends now only when I am on the night shift. I also swim when I can and have crossed the river near the ferry. I also Fish when I have the time – before I started.

     

    What is your favorite dish?

    Red snapper (tamoshi )– in RECHEADO masala

     

    What dish at the Restaurant do you like the most?

    I like the Desserts – Chocolate molten Cake also the Goan fish curry is very nice.

     

    What dishes do guests say that they like the best:

    Chorizo crusted fish(catch of the day)

    Full name

    Rupesh Talkar

     

    Designation at hotel

    Accountant

     

    Age

    26

     

    Where did you grow up?

    Kerim

     

    When did you start working here?

    February 2015

     

    What do you remember of the Tiracol Fort as a child? What does the fort mean to you (and your family)?

    Heritage Place, Fort, Picnic spot, positive memories, came for picnics

     

    How does it feel to now be working here?

    Proud when telling people

     

    What do you like about working at the hotel?

    Less crowded, better people and guests, short commuting time, nice view from the hotel, Management is more relaxed.

     

    What did you study and how did you come to work at the hotel?

    Finished my B.com. at government college Pernem 2011, Worked at Colonia de Braganza in Calangute. Uttam Pokhare is an old Friend and got me a job here.

     

    What do other people think of what when you talk about Tiracol

    Especially the fort as a historical place.

     

    What is your favourite dish?

    Paneer Masala

     

    What dish at the Restaurant do you like the most?

    Paneer Masala

     

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