Saffron Nola, New Orleans
Sharing a lifetime of education and experience in the Hospitality industry, father and son duo, Dickey Vilkhu and Ashwin Vilkhu, are owners: Executive Chef and General Manager (respectively) of Saffron nola.
Dickey started his 40+ year career in India, earning his degree in Hotel Administration. He moved with his family to New Orleans in 1984, bringing with him tremendous international expertise with working for the Taj Group of Hotels.
Ashwin’s Food & Beverage industry experiences began at an early age, essentially having a 35-year apprenticeship with his father in food, beverage and hospitality. His training comes from his work experience in restaurants and private clubs with a lifelong mentorship between father and son. His culinary inspiration comes from his Indian heritage, family dinners growing up and the city of New Orleans. He earned his Master’s degree in Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism from the University of New Orleans and has, over the course of his career, gained hands on experience in all facets of the hospitality industry.
In 1989 Dickey founded Ashwin Inc. dba Saffron Caterers with his wife Pardeep, a clinically trained Psychologist. They both introduced a truly unique style of cuisine to the city of New Orleans. Modern Indian food intertwining ingredients from their new home, Louisiana. Using both classical and modern cooking techniques, The Vilkhu family offers diners an opportunity to experience their family’s journey in every bite. Dickey’s Indian heritage and his grandmother’s worldly cooking style are as noticeable as his life in New Orleans and international experiences, with particular influence from France, Thailand, Singapore, and China.
Dickey and his wife Pardeep expanded their catering business with a weekly restaurant pop-up called Saffron nola in 2011 with overwhelmingly positive reception and support from the New Orleans community. Unable to meet local demand through a one-night pop-up, in 2017 the Vilkhu family ultimately opened a fully independent and family-run restaurant, Saffron nola- Magazine St. With Ashwin entering the business as co-owner, Saffron nola has gained widespread attention and acclaim, earning a James Beard Award nomination for Best New Restaurant 2018 and Eater Nola’s Restaurant of the Year 2017. Both father and son pride themselves in personally offering their family’s culture of hospitality to both their staff and their guests every night.