May 31, 2016
Ranveer Brar has his hands full. The celebrity chef and entrepreuner is planning to launch as many as three restaurants in Mumbai this year, out of which English Vinglish opened its doors last month. We spoke to the MasterChef India co-judge about his experiences from his first day in the professional kitchen, and here’s what he had to say.
What was going inside your mind when you entered the kitchen?
I did not cook on my first day in the kitchen. During my early years, I used to work under Ustad Munir Ahmed, who owned a roadside restaurant in Lucknow. My work only involved grinding masalas. However, it was one of the places that piqued my interest in cooking. But when I went to catering school later, I became confused and intimidated. I was never used to working in a clean and organised kitchen before this.
What was the first dish that you prepared?
The first dish that I cooked in my catering school was Sole Meunière, which is a classic French dish using fish.
Do you have any funny or interesting memory from the first day?
I cannot recall any funny incident from the first day. However, once I posed with a fish and clicked many pictures. Those pictures are still with me as they are really close to my heart.
One learning from your first day in the kitchen that helped you shape your career.
I was very tense and confused on the first day in the professional kitchen. As time went by, and as I got cooking, I realised that the place did not actually matter. I realised that the main thing was about my relationship with food. Be it a simple home kitchen or one along the roadside or a professional one, the taste of the food does not have anything to do with the place. That is my biggest learning.
One advice from your first boss that you still remember.
When I started working under Ustad Munir Ahmed, I learned that a kitchen works on intent. For someone to be a good cook, he or she needs to be passionate about food. He always told me that my love for food will be helpful in whatever I do in the field of cooking. His teachings are something that will stay with me for a lifetime.