In India, cooking is so popular that even cricket can’t rival it. There’s a cook in every home and each of these cooks has their ideals in the form of celebrity chefs, chefs that these cooks watch tirelessly in the hopes of achieving the same level of precision and taste with which they cook! One such celebrity chef that is amidst his love affair with the Indian audience is Ranveer Brar. He is one of the most revered chefs in the country today but his beginning is as humble as it can get.
Ranveer Brar was introduced to cooking in the most unexpected of ways. During an interview, he recalled he had never set foot in the kitchen before the age of 13. During his childhood days, his only relation to cooking was his granny - his granny would miraculously cook something for him within moments of him claiming he’s hungry. His first foray into the kitchen was at the gurudwara’s kitchen. Being a restless kid, he would get bored sitting inside the gurdwara and would go to the kitchen where the langar is cooked. There, he would find people to converse with and the whole hustle bustle of such gigantic kitchen would fancy him. His first attempt at cooking was when one day the task of cooking sweet rice fell onto his hands since the person who would usually cook it was not there. Recalling his tryst with cooking for the first time in an interview, Ranveer said “It’s very different when you cook yourself. Suddenly, all of it starts making sense because the magic kind of starts breaking down and the whole joy of creation takes over. And I was like, did I really make this.”
After his first attempt at cooking, he started exploring the cuisines in the bylanes of Lucknow and on seeing the connection people had with food, he was enthralled. It was then when he decided he wanted to pursue cooking as a career. However, when he told his parents about his passion, they were less than supportive and asked him to pursue a career with job security. But Ranveer remained firm on his decision and decided to leave his home at the age of 17 and under the guidance of Muneer Ustad, a traditional chef who owned a stall of kebabs in Lucknow, he learned the tricks of the trade. At the age of 25, Ranveer became the youngest executive chef in India to have ever worked in a five-star hotel.
Over the past years, Ranveer has produced and hosted a number of cooking shows like The Great Indian Rasoi, Health Bhi Taste Bhi, Ranveer’s Cafe, Food Tripping, Thank God It’s Fryday, Breakfast Xpress, Snack Attack, Homemade, Global Cuisine, Raja Rasoi aur Andaaz Anokhaa, and Station Masters Tiffin. Apart from his cooking shows, he has hosted seasons 4 & 6 of Masterchef India.
While commenting on his journey to stardom and all the fame and glamour that comes with becoming a celebrity chef, Ranveer says “People like Sanjiv (Kapoor), Vikas (Khanna), and Kunal (Kapur) are end products of a long process. I’ve been cooking for 17 years before I came on television. People get obsessed with the packaging, but they don’t realize that the journey started somewhere and then it got here. The journey to the end-product might be inspiring or boring, but there is no product without the journey. And the glitz and glamour are at the end of the curve.”
After having gone through the hardships and paying his dues, Chef Ranveer advises everyone wanting to pursue a career in cooking to travel, as a person who wishes to cook multiple cuisines needs to have a cultural perspective.