Michelin-star veteran chef Lijo George is a newer culinary arrival onto Los Angeles’ diverse and distinctive dining scene with his unique take on classic French and Indian flavors at the soon-to-debut Camphor in DTLA’s Arts District, opening in February 2022.
Born and raised in the coastal region of Kerala in South India, George is heavily influenced by his upbringing and roots working on his family farm. It was through his early years on the farm where he developed his philosophy toward food: keep it simple and use only the best ingredients.
Recognizing his passion for cooking at an early age, George set off to explore a career in the culinary world where he climbed the ranks of numerous top kitchens around the world, including Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Doha. At the young age of 22, George served as Chef de Commis at the Royal Orchid Hotel in India, before he was recruited by French Chef Yannick Alléno, whom he followed to Dubai to serve as Chef de Commis at Alléno’s 101 Dining at One&Only The Palm, a fine Mediterranean dining experience in a luxury five-star resort.
At the age of 25, George was tapped by Chef Alain Ducasse as the Chef de Partie in his renowned restaurant IDAM in Doha, Qatar. This marked the beginning of a life-changing eight-year-long culinary journey under the luminary Ducasse at his various prestigious establishments. Two years later, he joined the pre-opening staff and earned the title of sous chef at Ducasse’s Hong Kong-based French seafood restaurant, Rech, formerly known as Spoon, earning a coveted Michelin star along the way.
In 2019, George’s most recent culinary expedition brought him to the edge of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand, overlooking the stunning cityscape from Blue by Alain Ducasse. At this brand-new restaurant, he served as the Executive Sous Chef throughout the universally grueling pandemic period. Despite the challenges, Blue secured one Michelin star just one year after opening.
With over 10 years of culinary experience and an international résumé, Lijo George has finally made his highly anticipated arrival to the food capital of the world: Los Angeles. As Camphor’s Co-Executive Chef, George harkens back to his farming basis, Indian roots, and utmost mastery of French cooking to craft a classic yet refined menu that provides guests with endless reasons to return.