Vicky Ratnani – does this name ring a bell? you must have seen him come alive on TV hosting popular cookery shows a couple of times – The Celebrated Chef, the aficionado of good food, the man who loves exploring different flavours and tastes. He has also authored the famous vegetarian cook book ‘Vicky Goes Veg’ that is acclaimed by all and has won several awards.
On having met Vicky Ratnani at The Gourmet High Street the other day, I was slowly seeing my dream of meeting the illustrious chefs of India getting fulfilled. Such a big personality and you do not even find an iota of attitude in him. His persona reflects the sheer devotion he has for his profession and the love he has for food. So much so that, all through-out my interaction with him, he kept harping on the fact of how important it is for a Chef to discover that passion within him – of whether he wanted to become a chef or not. I could not help but sharing a small excerpt with my readers of what this great chef has got to say –
As a chef, what do you think will be the upcoming market for food in India like?
The market is slowly growing. I think we being a foodie nation, we are a very demanding population and we always like to see and feel new things. We are in a generation that loves technology, we love travelling a lot, people know a lot about foreign food now. Also, Indian Regional food is also getting familiarized and popular in different corners of the country now. So the market is changing and we will have to accept this change.
What kind of food do you like the most?
I like South Indian food the best, though I like other regional food too.
How many years have you been in this profession and how has been the journey?
It’s been 24 years now. I started my career on a very famous cuisine line-up. A good amount of my professional life has been spent abroad and I have worked with 35 different nationalities so far. I have been around the world 7 times and can speak 4 different languages.
How does a fest like this fit into your journey?
Such Fests are always a part of life for us chefs. It can be termed as a journey in the life of every artist. Just like we cook in restaurants, few of us also cook on TV or sometimes we also have opportunities to do live events, similarly participating in such fests also become a part of the bigger objectives of our professional lives. It can be seen as a great opportunity to interact with chefs and brings us much more closer to the people who have showered on us so much love and acceptance. It is also a great platform for sharing and learning whatever knowledge we have acquired in our profession. And last but not the least; I love Gurgaon a lot; so I would not have missed a Food Fest, the venue for which is Gurgaon.
Do you remember the first dish you have prepared as a chef?
In my professional career, I remember preparing lasagne that was my first best dish. That first dish always remains close to your heart, no matter how many popular dishes you prepare after that.
What is your thought on Fusion Food? What is your favourite fusion food?
Fusion Food is good as long as it is not confused. For me Fusion Food is mixing local ingredients with global flavours. So I have named my Fusion food style ‘GLOCAL’ (Global + Local), by mixing the best of the two worlds.
Any message you would like to give to anyone aspiring to be a chef?
To become a chef, it is very important to learn the basics. Don’t just become a chef because you want to appear on television or you want to be famous. Search for that passion in you that really urges you to become a chef. This is really very important, which most of us tend to neglect.
– Samrita Baruah / Anjali Sethi Joshi