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Ranveer Brar – Top notch culinarian who has put India on the Global Culinary Map

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Ranveer Brar

From being India’s youngest executive chef to the nation’s favourite celebrity chef and an exemplary food stylist, this father extraordinaire has played very role felicitously. One of India’s best Chefs, Ranveer Brar speaks about his journey and his soulful connection with food.

Everyone knows the celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar, but nobody knows the 6 year old whose passion for food brought you here. Please tell us about your  journey.

My journey is basically the story of a Small Punjabi guy in a joint family who was amazed at how miraculously his grandmother would cook delectable food within no time. Then gradually when I started going to the Gurudwara the magic of Langar touched me. And finally Lucknow, the way the city and its people love their food, the passion they have for that that somewhere propelled my thoughts. That is when I decided this is it.

 

First dish is always close to a chef’s heart which one was yours ?

The first dish I ever made was Rajma. My mum wasn’t well and there were Rajma soaked, so that was the first dish I ever made. Around the same time I also made Mithe Chawal for Langar .

 

Of  all the TV Shows that you have hosted which one  id your favourite and why?

The Great Indian Rasoi , is my favourite. It was my first food and travel show. I had not been to India for a very long time and that show gave me exactly what I needed at that point of time. I travelled across the nation to savour the robust flavours and discover the unique flavours. It also helped me look at various cuisines from a very different angle.

Our roots contribute majorly in our personality, What impacts have your roots had on your personality and profession?

If you ask me, it’s entirely the  roots that make a man. I consider myself to be a good mix between the eloquence of Lucknow and the rawness of Punjab. The happy medium of being a Raw Punjabi and a fine Lucknowite has impacted not just who I am but also my food, the way I cook. My travels make me as a person and they also define whatever I cook. I never cook the food I have’nt interacted with. These are the two parts that strongly define my personality, my travels and the Lucknow Punjab blend.

Life is a combination of magic and good food

 

What is Ranveer Brar’s comfort food?

Nice, hot and runny Khichdi with ghee and achar.

 

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It isnt just food that helps me connect to my roots. Apparel.. and fabric more so, does that too. To a Punjabi, Khes stands for tradition, rusticity, earthiness. Apart from being a cold weather wrap, it’s also a mother’s wedding gift to a daughter, so yes, that adds immense sentimental value to it too. . For my recent trip to Scotland (I was warned about extreme cold) I took with me a few pieces of Khes. To me it seemed like an interesting pairing. Khes’ affiliation with the English goes back a long way. J.Lockwood Kipling (Rudyard Kipling’s father) wrote about the khes, “The cloth is prized for winter wraps,” and that “.. these cloths are something like the ginghams and checks of England” Interesting isn’t it? Khes weaving gave new life to many a weaver from the pre-independence, pre-partition Punjab. The very emergence of Panipat as the textile city of the region was owed to the resettlement of the weavers post the seismic upheaval. And the story of the khes is also incomplete without the whole conversation about the resurgence of the Indian cotton and the Punjabi concept of Kapaas. . Interestingly, Khes isn’t just about checks or geometric patterns, there are many other weaves too. For instance, the Gulbadan or the multi coloured weave…the eye of the nightingale, which is a diamond pattern with a dotted eye in the centre and many more. And the food I would compare it to? Of course, the Panjiri 🙂 Raw, rustic, simple elements coming together, the artisan feel of it, the unpolished feel of the Panjiri à la the unpolished, rustic feel of the Khes. The Khes didnt just keep me warm from the cold, it warmed my soul too. #FoodForThought #foodmeetsfashion . . . @rannvijaysingha #fashionfood #foodnfashion #textiles #indiantextiles #punjab #khes #scotland #ranveerbrar #RBTravelDiaries

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Of everywhere you have been and all the cuisines you have tasted which on is your favourite and why?

Bengali Cuisine has to be my favourite cuisine. The variety, the accessibility and democratic nature of  Bengali food is alluring.

A city closest your heart for its vibrant culture and authentic food.?

Amritsar, I remember Amritsar not only for Golden Temple But also for Gurdas Ki Jalebi and Bansal ke Ladoo. As a city Amritsar endorses Happiness, the people , their intense love for food that is what I love the most.

Best thing about Indian food?

Indian food is like a Tripod, We have three different categories of food Street Food, Home food and the Royal food. You never get bored juggling between these three. It’s the art and the story telling around the Indian food that keeps me connected.

Some things  about  the food industry that  we as consumers do not know ?

All of us are attracted to the glitzy and glamorous side of the food industry whereas this is one of the toughest and the most demanding industries with the longest working hours and the least amount of leaves. As a passion food is great but as a profession food is very demanding.

If you had to pick a fruit for the rest of your life what would it be?

Apple, Well I am still a firm believer of, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  It is just the right combination nutritiously also.

You’re favourite Ingredient from the Indian Kitchen?

Coriander, I am a typical Punjabi who is obsessed with dhaniya, both dried and green. You will see dhaniya everywhere in my food. My grandmother used to put a lot of dhaniya in whatever she made, so I have kind of inherited this love for dhaniya.

Your favourite dessert?

Shondesh

What are the two of your most memorable son dad moments?

When I was a kid my dad used to take me out to see “Dussehere da mela” It used to be so crowded so my dad used to put me on his shoulders and show me around that sort of made me taller than everyone and I had the best view. It was a big thing and I will always cherish this. With Ishan I cherish our Lego sessions a lot.

Do you have any special Dad son Routines?

I spend 15-20 minutes with my dad every morning. Ishan is too busy to have a routine with so I try to read to him once in two days. In the lockdown we have had an addition to it I gave him a bath everyday!

How has your parenting style been so far?

I would say my parenting style is very Punjabi. There’s lots of love with the exact balance of chiding. Over the years I have learnt to be a rational parent. Also another thing I have learnt is the art of negotiation.

What is the best part about fatherhood?

They say Life comes in full circles and fatherhood makes you believe that. Every single conversation you have had with your dad which at a point of time used to sound absurd as a kid makes complete sense once you have stepped in your Dad’s shoes. When you become a father you see things from a different perspective altogether.

We all look up to our dads since the very first day   how has your relationship with your dad been and how has it influenced your personality

My relationship with my dad has evolved over the years. Earlier it was more of a Punjabi dad and son relationship but now we have become a little more expressive. The biggest personality trait that my dad has given me is the courage and the strength to keep going. He is a very strong man who has led a very difficult life. His fighting spirit is what I try to imbibe.

A message for all the dads- 

Whatever stage of life you might be at being a father or being a son, just make the most of it. Time won’t come back “

 

 

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