Ismat Jivani was born in Kenya, Ismat’s cooking journey began in 1979 as an apprentice at the prestigious Nairobi Hilton Hotel. He further developed his credentials working at Hiltons throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Arriving in Canada in 1985, his experience escalated him to chef at “Chez Marie”, an upscale French restaurant which became an overnight sensation as one of the best wild game venues in Toronto. After a five year stint, Ismat joined the Denison’s Restaurant group as a consultant and successfully opened Denison’s Bistro, Conchy Joe’s Oyster Bar and Growler’s Pub. In 1991, he was lured to the Fred Luk Group to develop and oversee five new concepts in foodservice. “Fred’s Not Here” received wide acclaim as one of Toronto’s best restaurants.With the opening of “Cha Cha Cha”, Jivani once again raised the bar with Afro-South Beach cuisine leaving critics like John Fitzgerald and James Chatto raving “ a hard act to follow”. Ismat continued to experiment and created “Fred’s Not Here” catering, satisfying discriminating palates at the Toronto Film Festival and many other celebrity functions.
In the meantime, Ismat attended classes at the world famous Santa Fe School of Cooking, broadening his expertise, creating unique recipes with ethnic foods and natural ingredients.
In 2004 the Lone Star Group pursued this multi-talented man and he became their corporate chef responsible for their two brands – Tex-Mex and Cajun. His personal desire to expand his culinary knowledge and experience took him to the very trendy “Number 4” Restaurant, Palapa and Terraza in Ajijic Jalisco Mexico as their in-house consultant…and his journey continues.
From Number 4, Ismat opened his own restaurant called “Gossips Kitchen” a few months ago and it is going very well.
The menu at Gossips Kitchen is very diverse with fresh oysters, soups, fondues, salads, appetizers, seafood, sandwiches and more. Their wonderful desert is Warm Louisiana Banana Bread Pudding.
Ismat is known for his fabulous use of spices which he incorporates into his exotic sauces such as curry sauce, remoulade, African Sunset and fresh seasonal chutney
His gumbo with chicken, chorizo and shrimp is very popular along with his Indo-African Rib Eye Burger with homemade peanut sauce and masala fries. Also not to be missed are the Cajun Catfish, Crab Cakes and Caesar with bacon and corn meal croutons.
They have wine and beer and soft drinks.
Gossips Kitchen is located on the Carretera Chapala-Jocotepec #36 on the corner of Javier Mina in Ajijic Reservations can be made at (376) 766-0217 or email Ismat and Gayb at: email@example.com