Ask anyone who has fallen in love with or inspired cooking lately and most would name Chef Ranveer Brar. With over 1.5 million followers on his Instagram account alone, Brar is a one-of-a-kind social media star. The reason? He has successfully done what few do. He has succeeded in re-establishing the connection between food and gourmets. Even Bollywood celebrities love it! On his popular show You Got Chef’d! Brar has teamed up with a host of famous people to create incredible gourmet delights and pair them with highball cocktails. Arjun Kapoor, Pratik Gandhi, Tahira Kashyap and Rohan Joshi appeared on Season 3 of the show. The chef spoke to us about his favorite movies, cooking with the stars and spending time with family during the lockdown.
What kind of films did you enjoy making as a child and what influence did they have on you?
I belong to the Doordarshan era. I’m sure a lot of people will speak to me when I say something was special on TV, right down to the local-language films with subtitles on Sunday afternoons. I used to enjoy watching Satyajit Ray’s Bengali films. Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne was my favorite and I can even check it out now. Choices were limited, but life was simple and content.
Many of our films show food and our relationship with food like Cheeni Kum, Daawat-e-Ishq etc. Are there any food films that you really enjoyed?
Ratatouille has to be a favorite among most of us chefs! My personal favorites are – Julie & Julia, a Danish drama called Babette’s Feast, Big Night, Waitress and Burnt.
You interact with a lot of celebrities on your show. Tell us about some of your favorite / special moments with them.
It was a fun experience to say the least. After the tough times of last year, it’s great to get back in touch with people personally and to cook in a different environment. One of the main reasons I agreed to host this show was because this season was focused on spicing up popular global cuisines and pairing them with Drams of easy-to-make and extra-smooth highball cocktails. In addition, the show offers a virtual trip around the world with your favorite stars, which means double the fun! Towards the end of the episode, DEWAR mixologists and brand ambassadors Greg and Myles stepped in and put the celebrities in a bar challenge that gave them a double challenge to demonstrate their cooking skills.
All the celebrities I’ve cooked with this season of You Got Chef’d! were super fun. For me, the special moments when my guests shared their love of food were especially when traveling. Cooking with Arjun Kapoor was super unforgettable! For the cool hustler he is, Arjun made a great shepherd’s pie all by himself, despite claiming he couldn’t cook.
Why do you think people feel so connected to you and relate so much to your social media posts?
I call them my extended family and not without reason. Your social media audience only builds when they connect with you. I’m pretty trend agnostic. I just put my head down and do what I do. I believe food is a common bond for all of us. We all grew up with stories and all have one or two memories of a dish. I’m just working to help re-establish that connection between food and food lovers. That it has resonated with so many out there is really heartwarming.
This was another reason I agreed to You Got Chef’d! Season 3. It showed a similar ethos. The show connects with foodies and encourages individuals to try different cuisines and highlight the chef in it.
During the lockdown, you managed to hang out with your family. What was it like connecting with them while eating?
One opportunity that this quarantine period gave me was cooking for my family. As someone who was on the go 75-80 percent of the year, I was able to rediscover the convenience of eating at home. More than comfort meals, it’s about getting the most out of limited resources. I have always believed that less is more, and this principle must now apply more than ever.
Your mom and son sometimes appear on your social media posts too. How much do you enjoy being part of your digital fame?
Ishaan loves to bombard my content with photos or videos and the audience loves it! Last year during the lockdown, I started a series of lives on my channel every day to keep people motivated and constructive. Until Ishaan made his cameo, he wouldn’t let me go on!
My mother has her own presence in my digital content. My videos during lockdown were all shot in the kitchen at home, and while mom wasn’t in those videos, everyone knew I cooked in her turf and that the kitchen had to be kept as pristine as she likes it.
Does Ishaan like to cook and does he help you in the kitchen?
I think eating and cooking are great ways to keep children occupied and bond with them. Ishaan has his own cooking utensils for children and knows what to eat and how. I remember roasting cardamom for Sevaiyan and he had just got up. I heard him ask my mom if I was kheer!
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Posted on: Sunday September 05, 2021 7:00 AM IST