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Sanjeev Kapoor gets chatty in the capital!

The five-star chef tells Monika Adlakha that to be a winner one needs to work like a horse and not a donkey.

india Updated: May 04, 2007 19:24 IST
Monika Adlakha
Monika Adlakha

He needs no logic to do what he wants - the only condition is it has to be different. Well, the man in question is master chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who wa1ked the "spice route" just because not many around him would approve of it.

"My friends thought I am mad. I was brilliant academically and they thought I would do IIT or something. On the other hand my parents were pretty supportive," says Sanjeev. Brand building: He may not be the face in every second commercial, but his show Khana Khazana did give him the muchrequired facelift.

"I have just done seven commercials in 13 years. And no the reason is not because I wasn't offered any, it's just that I was not 100 per cent sure of the products."

And how about being on the panel of culinary colleges? "There've been many tempting offers but I'm very afraid of them. Even if one student's career gets spoiled, I'll never be able to forgive myself. In fact I'm planning to open an institute of my own, sometime soon."

His 'no logic' mantra applies for his chain of restaurants also. Yellow Chilli, as it's called, was derived from his favourite street food in Meerut - Matre Ki Chaat. "Yellow chilli gives it a very distinctive flavour, which you don't get anywhere else. And I simply love it." Good enough a reason. Well Sanjeev has added another outlet in his Yellow Chilli chain, located in Greater Noida.

Street smart: Besides Yellow Chilli, Sanjeev has also opened a street food outlet called Simply Chat Simply Indian in Kaushambi. "The aim was to cater hygienic street food at pocket-friendly prices. Just putting a bottle of mineral water next to the golgappas doesn't , ensure hygiene. The chalta hai attitude disturbs me badly" he says.

The 'clean attitude' I didn't develop overnight. "I was being 1 trained at a five star hotel in Delhi and a 'wellknown' chef was preparing something while cleaning the table. Suddenly he crushed the cloth, dripping with dirty water into the food. I was shocked."

Success mantra: "To be a winner, you need to work like a horse and not a donkey. That's the way to play a long innings. Being experimental makes it smoother. Years back when I introduced boneless chicken, people said no one will buy it, and today every restaurant serves it."

Seasoned dancer: Not many know that Sanjeev participated in the dance show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa only to impress his wife who's a dancer "We weren't supposed to be voted out so soon, but as I the judges were not very happy with our performance and my choreogra4 pher had an important ' exam, so we planned our exit."

Readers, please don't think that's cooked-up.

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