WENDELL RODRICKS | Who has not heard of Chef Sanjeev Kapoor? He has filtered into our subconscious, whether we like TV or not. This 1984 graduate of the Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, Delhi, is a fellow IHM brother who I have always respected for many reasons. Let us look at his amazing profile.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine today. Chef extraordinaire, TV show host, author of best-selling cookbooks, restaurant consultant, architect of a unique range of food products and winner of numerous culinary awards, Chef Kapoor is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one cuisine in the world.
Conferred with ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Government of India, Chef Kapoor has been chosen as Indian ambassador for the United Nation’s Clean Cook stoves campaign for the underprivileged people in the developing countries, he represented India in 2012 in World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) at Daejon, South Korea and initiated the Indian ancient ways of ‘Ayurvedic Cooking’ to the world of chefs. Represented India as a Food Ambassador in Spain under the Spanish Government’s Indian Future Leaders Programme (IFLP).
Sanjeev Kapoor is the most famous face from the Indian subcontinent with continuous presence on Indian TV through his cookery show ‘Khana Khazana’ for nearly two decades. On International TV he has prominently featured with Rachel Ray, Richard Quest and Rene Redzepi.
Sanjeev is the first chef worldwide to start his own 24×7 Food TV Channel called ‘Food Food.’ His best-seller books reach an enthralling number of more than 150 titles (in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati) with ‘The Live Well Diet’ and ‘Everyday Cooking’ hitting the stands lately. His book for the International audience ‘How to Cook Indian,’ published and printed in the USA and later in the UK was launched in April 2011 to an overwhelming response and positive press. Listed amongst the “Summer Cookbooks of the Year” Sanjeev’s ‘The Yellow Chilli Cookbook’ has been awarded as the Best International Cookbook at the 2012 International Book Awards and as ‘Best Indian Cuisine Book’ and ‘Best Chef Cookbook’ in Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2012.
Sanjeev Kapoor’s restaurants Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khazana, The Yellow Chilli, Signature and Sura Vie are buzz word for the best of Indian cuisine in many countries. Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khazana brand of Indian Blended Spices, Ready to Cook Mixes, Pickles and Gourmet Chutneys are creating waves in USA, Europe and the Middle East. Another brand of Sanjeev Kapoor – Wonderchef is enabling Indian women to empower themselves by starting their own business of selling World Class Kitchen gadgets.
His website www.sanjeevkapoor.com attracts more than seven million page views per month and over 6 lakh fans follow him on Facebook. His website has more than 8500 proven recipes. He is on the board of Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel. Chef Kapoor was on the panel of judges for Master Chef India Season 3. Presently he is serving as the brand ambassador to a selected list of various commercial brands.
This pathbreaking chef has launched recently his app titled Sanjeev Kapoor’s app, which is a complete cookery manual on your cellphone, iPad or tablet.
With this heavy duty a bio data I was amazed a the humble nature of the man. In his speech at NIO, Dona Paula two weeks ago for The Goa Management Association, I watched with respect as he detailed his career graph.
Post graduation, he was introduced with his batch of 1984, to a five-star chef. Sanjeev asked the Chef de Cuisine how long he took to become the Hotel’s main Chef. “Twenty years” came the reply. Sanjay did the Math and figured that if he worked sixteen hours a day instead of the Chef’s eight, he could be in the coveted Chef’s position in ten. Fact is that he became a Chef de Cuisine in seven years. How’s that for hard work and dedicated discipline?
When asked how he became a television chef, his strategy was well planned. He did not want to appear on TV as an expert showing off his skills. Instead he carried a ‘Share and Teach’ approach. Imagining how people could learn a recipe via television, he used not a personal perspective but the audience perspective.
Something in common I share with this great Chef is worth sharing. When asked about success and creativity, he replied simply: “Don’t follow the path. Create the path”.
Words of wisdom for everyone who aspires for a happy, successful career.