Chef Ranveer Brar arrived on the TV cooking scene about three-and-a-half years ago, with numerous shows, and a stint as a judge on MasterChef India. Before that, he had launched restaurants in India (Delhi and Goa) as well as in Boston, USA, where he had lived for eight years. “‘This guy can open restaurants,’ people said. It kind of stuck,” says Brar, as he talks about his culinary journey.
Go back 20 years, and you’ll meet an ambitious 17-year-old, who started cooking on the streets of his hometown, Lucknow. He claims that he thrived on, what he calls, a “keeda” (bug) to do something different. He did not know where his journey would take him, but only that he “felt good” while cooking. “It’s been a 21-year-old marriage. There’s nothing to complain about. Food is a giver,” says Brar.
How has the journey been in the past 10 years?
A lot has happened (laughs), right from opening my own restaurant in Boston to all the global exposure. Then I had to return to India, initially unwillingly, since my father wasn’t well. I had to make that call. I made a hesitant entry into Mumbai. The idea was to work here for a year, and then go back to Delhi, my bastion. But that didn’t happen. That’s because Mumbai lets you be [who you are]. You are not trying to be somebody else. If I had come back from the US to any other city, I don’t know if I’d have settled down as comfortably. So, that was important.
What has your journey taught you?
Ten years ago, at 27, I was super ambitious. Now that I am 37, I’ve learnt to appreciate the importance of being in the present. I don’t run around chasing the future. I’m also a better human being. Earlier, there were two different people — Ranveer Brar and Chef Ranveer. Over the last 10 years, I’ve learnt to be the same person at all times. That’s been a big learning — being myself.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I’ve never chased a dream. I believe in living in the present, so I see myself happy and cooking. That’s all.
Dish by Ranveer Brar: Mirch Baans Ki Kurkuri. Photos: Facebook.com/Ranveer Brar