Have you ever been mesmerized by a cookery show? Have you ever saved a series of YouTube cookery videos offline? Have you ever stacked your book shelf with cookery books by a single Indian chef? Well, I am not sure about what you did, but yes I did all of these above for that one single Indian chef. The person who inspired me to try my hands at cooking, to explore the art of cooking and not to look at it as a mundane task that only housewives should be doing. Today after all these years, I love cooking and I enjoy it like anything, it’s my stress buster… thank you Sanjeev Kapoor!
Not sure if starting the post with a thank you note is technically correct or not, but since it’s straight from my heart so I really don’t bother about the technicalities or what others have to say. I truly worship this person when it comes to his domain of expertise because he knows how to share the knowledge in simplest possible way and knows he is doing it right. I love his confidence, his skills, his simplicity, his wit and that lovely smile he wears! So, when I received a call from Samridhi for a Zomato invitation at this much awaited event, I was bubbling with joy but somehow contained my emotions and managed to reply with a confident ‘yes’ marking my confirmation for this event.
This Cookery workshop with Sanjeev Kapoor was organized by Media Connect at Sapphire Banquets, Kolkata and Zomato was the online partner of this event. As already said, this invite came to me from Zomato for which I am really thankful; this was truly an experience of a lifetime. Not sure if I can ever see him again, cooking such amazing dishes right in front of me!
Sanjeev Kapoor is definitely the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine and television today. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel ‘FoodFood’, author of best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards! He is truly living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering Indian women through power of cooking to become self sufficient, as well as inspire men to come forward and enjoy this art of cooking. The celebrity chef has also been conferred with ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Government of India. So, the City of Joy, Kolkata was lucky enough to get a chance to give their cooking dreams a flight by learning culinary skills from the Master Chef himself!
The workshop was organized with hundreds of energized audience who were seen jotting down all tips & tricks while following the recipes. The participants present there got a chance to learn & witness practical demo & Live Cooking of Multi-cuisine Pure Vegetarian dishes in this workshop along with loads of Tips, Tricks and interactions to improve their everyday cooking.
The list of dishes covered in this workshop included: Angoori Chaat in Parmesan Bowl, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad, Bhapa Doi Brulee, Date and Nut Wontons with Rabri, Flavours of Hummus, Grilled Paneer and Vegetable Burritos, Hummus Falafel with Candied Eggplants, Kanchipuram Idli with Chutney Frosting, Red Quinoa Salad, Saeb aur Angoor ki Sabzi, Saffron Risotto with Grilled Vegetable, Sandesh Cheesecake, Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup, etc.
Most of these dishes looked absolutely fabulous and lip smacking. It was hard to restraint oneself from going ahead and tasting those delicacies. But what I loved most about this whole experience was his spontaneous display of wit and the message which he was always trying to spread, the message was simple and it was just about ‘simplicity’. He asked us to be simple and to think stuffs in a simple manner, not to complicate stuffs as life is already pretty complicated to add more to it. He said that we should treat every dish with that simplicity, never plan to make something very complex. Just think simple and think innovative. He narrated an incident when he tried a ‘kachagolla’ inside a ‘phuckka’ (while he was at Kolkata) and said it tasted amazing, that shows how simple two things can create such an eccentric magic when put together, so your simple thoughts are valuable. They can create magic if they don’t get jumbled up or complicated.
Unarguably he is one of the most recognized faces of Indian television today, and that’s all because of his virtues and knowledge. He was in people’s living rooms for almost two decades introducing them to the delights of Indian and international cuisine in his inimitable easy going and cheery manner. The show Khana Khazana was one of those trailblazing cookery shows on Zee. So obviously he has a massive fan following across all age groups, genders and countries! He has the proud distinction of being the only chef in the world to have his own channel – FoodFood.
He has been conferred the ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Government of India. He represented India in the World Association of Chefs’ Societies in South Korea and there he introduced them to the wonders of the ancient Indian way of Ayurvedic cooking. He represented India as a Food ambassador in Spain under the Spanish Government’s Indian Future Leaders Programme (IFLP). He has done cookery shows all over the globe with famous culinary personalities like Rachel Ray, Richard Quest and Rene Redzepi. In fact he is also known as the ‘Rachel Ray of India’. He has also cooked for many dignitaries, including the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, that is a huge honor in itself.
His business of world class kitchen gadgets, Wonderchef has enabled and continues to empower women, a cause which is very dear to him. Every now and then in the cookery show he was discussing about the Wonderchef gadgets and utensils but that’s because this is so close to his heart.
The show went on pretty late, that’s because there were some electrical glitches in between and because it started a bit late. The organizers had arranged lunch (and breakfast) for guests which were vegetarian with limited options and nothing to be cherished, not sure if that was worth the money people had paid for this event.
But that was totally eclipsed by the unmatched memories that the master chef himself provided. The Haryana-born Khana Khazana star did everything right to mesmerize his audience, his ardent fans like me and his critics. He showed that he really knows how to balance everything, whether it be life (as he discussed about his family, his colleagues, his daughters or about his trips) or an exquisite dish that he is preparing, striking the right balance is so essential in your life. There is really so much to learn from this versatile Chef, it was such an enriching session for us. So, let’s not drag this any further and let me wrap this up by saying that – to get the perfect taste of your life you just need to put ‘namak swad anusar’! 🙂