A tete-a-tete with celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar !

The Master Chef was at the Mercedes Benz Luxe Drive Event Organised by Rajasree Motors 

The Mercedes Benz Luxe Drive event in Kochi is buzzing with energy and under the spotlight is celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar, all set to redefine ‘luxury’ on the platter! Ranveer started his rendezvous with food at fifteen, and by the age of 25, he had carved his own niche by becoming the youngest Executive Chef in the country! He has travelled far and wide, is an expert in Indian & world cuisine, has successfully set up restaurants & curated menus across the world, hosted award winning TV shows, authored several cookbooks and has literally been a part of every food expedition! Ritz gets into conversation with the multi-talented Master Chef as he talks of his journey thus far, his passion for food, his interests outside of his profession and his wish list!

Words: Riya Sonny Datson

 

Chasing His Passion

At 15, he enjoyed helping to cook at the temple. Gradually, as he started to explore the streets of his hometown, Luckow, he discovered his passion for the city’s cuisine. “As I learnt the nuances of the craft, I realised that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. In 1991, it was definitely not a fascinating career option but I chose to follow my heart. And when it’s your choice, it becomes your responsibility too,” he smiles.

Morisco was the first sea food restaurant that he started as a restaurant chef. “I had to do it all by myself. Since I was from Delhi, I had no clue about sea food. I went fishing, I worked hard to understand seafood delicacies and the Goan cuisine. But through it all, I enjoyed it and it was a great learning experience!” he recalls. An expert in Indian and world cuisine, cooking comes naturally to him. So what’s the secret? “Food is a sum total of basics. Once you understand how ingredients behave with each other, how they react to heat, the boundaries begin to blur. There is a science behind cooking and a reason why food behaves the way it does. There is also a lot of basic human values involved – like sticking to basics, hard work and perseverance,” he says. To all those who have a mental block towards cooking, he says that if you love food, cooking will follow automatically for ‘food will catch you!’

 

My Food Expeditions

Apart from handling restaurants and menus, he has been a brand ambassador of popular brands like Philips India, Go Cheese and Sun Gold Kiwi fruit, he has hosted several TV shows like MasterChef India, The Great Indian Rasoi and Thank God its Fryday to name a few, authored books like ‘Come Into My Kitchen’, handled banquets in the Rashtrapathi Bhanvan, cooked for Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities and he has also been featured among the top 50 Chefs in the Indian Culinary Forum.  “I feel my journey thus far has been great. When I look back, I had no expectations but when you get all that you didn’t expect at all, I feel really blessed!” he says. Cooking is what he enjoys the most and that’s exactly what reflects in all his food expeditions. “When you love cooking, the rest of it is just an extension of the art.”  His TV shows have been extremely popular, one among them being the travel food show that he produced called, ‘The Great Indian Rasoi’! It was shot across seven Indian cities where Ranveer is seen exploring each city’s cuisine and flavours. “It was just an idea that we had and we made it into a show! It was a very rewarding experience for me to explore each city’s culture and delicacies and very enriching in terms of it being a travel show that won the most food awards ever!” he recalls.

Inspiration? “I feel inspiration is everywhere, as a child, I have been inspired by Charlie Trotter, I admire my peers, like Kunal Kapur for his hand in Indian food, Sanjeev Kapoor for his simplicity, Vikas Khanna for his charisma. I do a lot of traveling, reading, cooking and of course, the internet also has a lot of content to keep you on your toes!”

Jack of All Trades!

“I would like to climb the Mt Everest!” he says without batting an eyelid! For a minute, I marvel at his humour sense and then he continues talking about his interests outside of cooking. “Trekking has always been something that I love to do. I also love to paint and sculpt, in fact I think I have painted longer than I have cooked!” As we chat further, he reveals that he has been attending theatre workshops at Puducherry and Delhi! “Since I produce my shows, I felt it would be good to learn theatre basics as it helps you to stay in character for a long time and unlike in television you don’t need to stop when the director says ‘cut’. It’s literally and figuratively a test of character!”

On the Wish list

“I would like to cook for Modiji!” and that tops Ranveer’s wish list now. Currently Ranveer is curating F&B for Alila Hotel in Goa and Jaipur.  He is hosting a food reality show in Living foodz and another in Zoom TV. He has multiple restaurants in the pipeline – in India, Canada and Boston and a book in the making on Lucknowi cuisine! And yes, there is one more item on his wish list, “My dream is to start a 20 seater restaurant that would have me cooking ‘Inspired Food’ for my guests. And that’s where I want my two year old son, Ishaan to grow up!”

 

Rapid Fire:

  • I love to cook: Italian
  • Favourite cuisine: Lucknowi
  • If I wear not a Chef : I would be a Photographer
  • I am writing on: Lucknowi Cuisine
  • I want to cook: For Modiji