Celebrity Chef and an Eminent television personality, Ranveer Brar is an Indian Culinary Rockstar. His love for food and food stories, passion for cooking, interest to gain and share knowledge and his impeccable interaction skills are what set him apart in the industry.
While following his passion for cooking, Ranveer has hosted several food-based shows on television over the years. What makes him unique is the story that he weaves around each recipe. His shows hinge on developing a dish which stays true to its local produce, local taste and cooking methods.
He has been the recipient of several notable awards and recognitions, both in the US and India, both for his contribution towards the culinary field as for his shows.
Behind the glitz and glamour of a chef who travels, hosts television shows and has a huge social media following, there lies an untold story of hardships, long working hours and mental stress.
Ranveer Brar was born and brought up in Lucknow and underwent quality education at St. Paul’s and H.A.L Lucknow & IIM Lucknow. Belonging to a family of landlords where farm-to-table was a way of life, Ranveer discovered his passion for food early on. It all began within the family. There were many influences that made him the person he is today. As a logical, straight-thinking man, he inherited his business acumen from his father, but it is his mother who is Chef’s artistic inspiration. A big early influence on his life was his grandmother, who introduced him to the priceless concept of ‘Barkat’ – an immeasurable blessing that is bestowed on a cook, as a result of their good practices. His grandfather, an ex-army man, exposed him to some seriously advanced thoughts and opinions at a very young age, teaching him important lessons to make him a better person.
He recalls “As a young boy, the kitchen in our home was a space limited to my grandmother, who would whip up her magic and create food in a matter of minutes the moment I said I am hungry.”
Growing up, Ranveer never thought he would become a chef one day. His initial years were spent simply acquainting himself with food in his hometown, be it cooking at the langar, enjoying different cuisines at his neighbours’ homes, exploring the street foods of Lucknow or having conversations with the local grocer.
Food has touched him in different ways. And what started as culinary explorations, gradually grew into a passion. It was at the age of fifteen when he decided that food was his true calling and he should pursue it professionally.
However, when he told his parents about his decision, they outright refused it. They worried for their family’s reputation, the lack of job security and questioned the profession itself. But Ranveer remained firm in his decision and the doubts raised by his family only fueled his passion.
After IHM Lucknow, he started off as Hotel Operations Management trainee with the Taj group. After joining the Taj group, he quickly moved up the ranks, went on to open restaurants in Goa, which was the biggest challenge for him at that time as he had very limited exposure to seafood. He did not take a single day off-work throughout his stint at Goa. Whatever free moments he would get, he would walk up to the nearest lighthouse and reflect on his future strategies in solitude.
By the time he was 25, he joined Radisson Blu, Noida and became the youngest executive chef of his times in India. A few years later, he moved to the Claridges and renovated the hotel completely.
The Breakthrough point in his career came when he had a serendipitous opportunity to try something new in the US, opened quite a few restaurants there. Then he came back to India after a couple years and joined the Accor group. Additionally, he was also showcasing and documenting food on television, something he continues even now. He was working on restaurants for himself too, right from the fun & groovy Flyp@MTv to the experiential Alila @ Bishangarh to cruise kitchens with Royal Caribbean.
Over the years, Ranveer has hosted several shows including Breakfast Xpress, Snack Attack, Homemade, The Great Indian Rasoi, Ranveer’s Cafe, Food Tripping, Thank God It’s Fryday, Global Cuisine, Raja Rasoi, Station Masters Tiffin and Himalayas-The Offbeat Adventure. He has also been a judge in seasons 4 and 6 of Masterchef India. His unique shows and his recipes are not a standard instruction manual to follow. Rather, he believes in taking his viewers on the journey of the recipe — from narrating about the era in which the food was conceptualized, to using traditional cooking techniques and utensils.
Besides running his businesses and hosting tv shows, Ranveer actively works with multiple farmer and indigenous grain-producing/marketing organisations. He believes ‘Farmers are the backbone of the culinary food chain and it is important to keep the indigenous grains in circulation, which is good for the soil, ecosystem and nutrition profile.’
Since last year when pandemic struck, Ranveer has also worked on several fund raisers to help send as much aid as possible to all the affected strata of our country. He also did an awareness+fundraising campaign in collaboration with NASVI to revive and help re-establishing street vendors.
Ranveer says, “This campaign was really close to my heart. As a food explorer, I always believe that street food is the true mirror of any cuisine and culture. I am happy to have played some part in helping to bring them back. In fact, our campaign was called #BringThemBack. And I would love to continue with more such activities that help sustain and support food at source.”