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Global desi


Chef Sanjeev Kapoor says Indian food comes not just with taste but also with values embedded in it

He bagged the coveted Padma Shri albeit a little late in his career, but Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who became the face of Indian cuisine with Khana Khazana on television for nearly two decades, has no regrets as he is all set to receive the fourth-highest civilian honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Kapoor will also be cooking a meal for the President and the other winners.

“It feels really great. When I first learnt that I have won, I told myself, ‘Oh my God, if it can happen in my field then it can inspire a large number of people from the hospitality world to chip in their best when it comes to serving quality wholesome cuisine’,” says Kapoor.

When Kapoor first embarked on his mission, he didn’t know where his career would head. “It was like travelling on the road less travelled. When I decided to become a chef, people thought that I’d turned to cooking as I was jobless. Then there were others who thought I could go to any length to start something as crazy as cooking. They were all sure I wouldn’t make it. Now, when I see my name in the news, it feels nice that my efforts have paid off. This award is a validation of all the hard work that I have put in, in the last three decades.”

It has given a fillip to Kapoor’s long-cherished dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world. “Earlier, our food was like ghar ki murgi dal barabar. But I could sense the global potential of Indian cuisine. The first dish I cooked on TV was palak kofta, which I had infused with paneer and makhni gravy. Now, Indian food is recognised at so many places, and our chefs are recognised all over the world.”

Promoting Indian cuisine

Kapoor plans to open a chain of restaurants across the world, he says. “I will be opening a new chain of restaurants across the world,” he declares and says he owes his inspiration to food he has grown up with and his parents. His dad cooked Peshawri food he had eaten in pre Partition days.

He says he acknowledges the contribution of family and good values in any Indian food. “ “At an International Young Chef Olympiad I told budding chefs from nearly 50 nations that they needed to upgrade not just their their skills and knowledge but also promote values. Indian food has a large support structure where everyone — from a distant cousin to grandparents, everybody chips in.”

Source :The Hindu

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