Vicky Ratnani: Don't become a chef to cook on TV
Chef Vicky Ratnani loves to come up with innovative dishes
Born and raised in Mumbai, Vicky Ratnani, a corporate chef at Aurus, Mumbai, is all about creating dreams and feeding the imagination. His innovative recipes and style of cooking are an outcome of his experiences and tastes acquired from working abroad. On his TV show, 'Vicky Goes Veg', he follows every step to bring some delectable Canadian and Indian recipes to us.
We caught up with the very witty and charming, Vicky Ratnani who is fond of travelling, and of course, cooking.
Did you always want to become a chef?
Not really. I joined the hospitality industry with no intention of becoming a chef. I wanted to work in the business side of things. However, I enjoyed cooking. As I progressed, my teachers always thought that I can become a good chef. They encouraged and motivated me to come up with a style of mine. I started getting deep into cooking and thoroughly enjoyed cooking innovative dishes. After that, there was no looking back.
You have cooked various Indian and Western dishes. Which is more challenging?
Every cuisine has its own pros and cons. That is why I would say both Indian and western are equally challenging and difficult in a way. However, cooking Indian food is more complicated because you need a fair understanding of spices.
Where is India's culinary scene heading?
India's culinary scene is growing by leaps and bounds. There are high-end restaurants in London, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney etc. serving Indian food. These restaurants and their level of food are not restricted to serving only curries and rice.
Trying new things has always been one of your interests. What is the most innovative thing you have cooked?
I keep experimenting with ingredients and give birth to a unique dish. So, it will be difficult to name one innovative dish as there are many. However, a lot of combinations of my salads are unique. One of the most weird and unique salad is a squid and jackfruit salad, and squid and kiwi salad. It was as tasty as weird it sounds.
Do you think molecular gastronomy has redefined Indian food?
No. I don't think so. Molecular gastronomy is just like giving a treatment to food. It is a different profile of Indian food.
Most of us grow up with distinct food memories from our childhood. Is there any particular dish that brings back childhood memories?
Biryani. My mother used to cook biryani every Sunday at 1 pm.
Your favourite restaurants in India and abroad
In India, Indian Accent for Indian food, Wasabi for Japanese, Gajalee for seafood. The French Laundry and Momofuku in the US.
Your favourite ingredients
Salt, because nothing can be prepared without it. And, spring onions.
Three things we'd most likely find in your fridge
Eggs, fresh vegetables and different kinds of cheese.
India's greatest food destinations
Amritsar, Lucknow and Hyderbad.
Words of wisdom for aspiring chefs
Don't become a chef to become a TV chef!
Recipe for Sausage and Potato Casserole by Vicky Ratnani
A comforting casserole made with bell peppers, capsicum, potatoes, baked beans and sausages is one of his innovative dishes.
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell peppers, chopped
1 onions, chopped
1 boiled potato
Salt & pepper to taste
1 can baked beans
1/4th cup water
1 green chilli
1. In a pan, heat some oil.
2. Add all the vegetables and chopped sausages to it and stir well.
3. Chop some potatoes and add to the mixture.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then saute all the vegetables.
5. Add baked beans, green chilli and parsley to it.
6. Let it heat for some time and then plate it up.