Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar has returned as a host of third season of food show, You Got Chef’d. After two successful seasons, its third edition was recently released. In a chat with News18, he talks about the new season, his experience with the guests on his show and lots about food. Arjun Kapoor, Pratik Gandhi and Tahira Kashyap are among the guests this season.
Sharing his craziest cooking experience with a celerity, Brar said, “It will be difficult to narrow down to one celebrity. I have had double the fun with all the guests while cooking on the sets of ‘You Got Chef’d’ right from the second season. Some memorable moments from this season were with Arjun Kapoor. Other than the show, one session that comes to mind right now is a live cooking I did with Shankar Mahadevan last year during the lockdown. It was a virtual cooking-together of course, but the session was truly amazing."
He added, “This season, taking it a notch higher, the show focuses on whipping up popular global cuisines and pairing it with drams of easy-to-make Dewar’s highball cocktails. It aims to inspire the chef in you to try cuisines differently. When you pair your favourite global cuisine with just the right highball cocktail, it can transform your meal experience. And the interesting conversations with friends and family alongside are obviously a cherry on the cake."
Addressing the hype around organic and vegan food, he said, “The concept of organic food is basically what people like me grew up with. We ate what grew around us. Literally farm to table. While it’s positive to see it trending, one needs to be mindful of the source. After all, Organic means genuine, natural. We need to mindfully inculcate the habit of eating what’s in season and what’s grown locally. That would be truly supporting the food producer and the ecosystem at large. Vegan is still pretty much in a near-nascent stage in India, I would say. We are traditionally attached to our dairy products for all reasons and occasions. The concept is not as widespread as in the west. But yes, w.r.t a conscious shift and personal choices, veganism is definitely on the rise and is here to stay."
The culinary travel trend has grown rapidly in recent years and there’s been a surge of bloggers who plan their trips solely with the food native to that destination. What would he like to say to these people?
He said, “The present wave of ‘food-explorers’ as I call them, is quite well-read and well-supported by respective peer systems, be it blogger communities or local know-all groups. I feel very encouraged when I see these travellers explore more street food, reach out to people more. Thanks especially to social media, everyone has a story to tell. My advice would be - go with an open mind and understand the cuisine of any place as an extension of its culture. It becomes really fascinating when you prep up with a basic demographic knowledge of the place to understand why they eat what they eat."
About the most common mistake that people make while cooking, he said, “A mantra I hold on to like gospel is – if you are looking you are not cooking. In the present time when everything is rush-rush, especially with the availability of gadgets and appliances, it is important to at least allow food its time to cook. And to trust the process, rather than checking in every now and then. When you plant a seed, you wouldn’t keep digging it up to see if it’s sprouted right. So too, with food. Give it the time it needs and you will see the difference."
We asked him how do men cook differently from women, and he answered, “Women cook with emotions. For them it typically comes with obligations and the element of love automatically fills in, which is why the simplest of dishes cooked by a mother always tastes so special. Men enjoy cooking too, the level of passion is no different, but I feel we approach it more as a process. It could be attributed to our DNA, we love to deconstruct and reconstruct."
Lastly, he shared three quick cooking tips:
- Keep it simple. Both with regards to ingredients and spices.
- It’s good to master a few basics, which will help you implement or innovate a recipe, even and not just follow it.
- Keep tasting as you go, especially when you begin cooking, so the mind registers how the flavours and textures change with the cooking process.