Suresh Pillai, a chef associated with Hotel Leela Palace in Trivandrum, shared an episode involving Mahendra Singh Dhoni on his Twitter account. This event took place back in October 2018, during a visit by the Indian cricket team to Thiruvananthapuram for an ODI match against West Indies.
At the time, MS Dhoni extended an invitation to Pillai and confided in him about his seafood allergy and a troublesome sore throat. It was keeping him from consuming any food. He made a specific request for a bowl of flavorful rasam, seeking relief from his discomfort.
Suresh Pillai readily agreed and returned to Dhoni’s room with a meal. It comprised “Chettinad Chicken, Basmati Rice, Roasted Pappadam, and Rasam seasoned with generous amounts of pepper and garlic.”
It turns out that Suresh Pillai had meticulously prepared an elaborate seafood spread for the entire team. To his astonishment, however, Indian captain MS Dhoni politely declined the seafood offerings. While his fellow teammates relished the seafood, Dhoni opted not to taste any of it, citing his allergy.
As Pillai recounted, “I can’t have seafood, Chef. I am allergic. Can I get some Chicken curry and rice? I would also like some spicy rasam since I have a sore throat.” (He even asked, ‘Poondu Rasam kedakkuma?'”)
The following morning brought a delightful surprise for Pillai. While Dhoni was en route to the gym, he stopped to express his appreciation for the previous night’s dinner. Pillai felt an overwhelming sense of joy; there was nothing that could surpass that feeling. The knowledge that he had managed to serve and bring happiness to one of his greatest idols, even if only for a span of four days, was undoubtedly a pinnacle moment in his culinary career.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has earned a reputation for his humble and kind demeanor toward his support staff. Such incidents, like the one shared by Pillai, have captured the public’s attention and endeared Dhoni to his fan base.
Recently, a viral video showcased Dhoni’s helping hand extended to a security guard at his Ranchi farmhouse, further reinforcing his compassionate character.