I do not like cooking the same dish twice: Ranveer Brar
Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar was recently in Kolkata for the opening of Afra Tafri, a new gastro brew pub in the city, where he is the curator of the food menu. The popular Indian chef, restaurant-owner and food stylist, who also hosts and judges many food shows, spoke exclusively to TWF-IBNS correspondent Shilpa Salwan.Brew up the madness is the tagline of Afra Tafri. So, what is the madness all about?
The madness essentially is just a bunch of crazy people getting together trying to do crazy things.
Do you have any experience of bar tending?
Of course, I used to bar tend in the US. I used to make more money than the other bar tenders [Smiles].
You are an extremely camera-friendly cook. So, whats your relationship with the limelight?
It is all right, you know. God has been kind. I was happy cooking but then lots of stuff happened, most of it was good and I have no reason to complain.
Any pleasant memories of Kolkata?
Plenty of memories. Some of the most amazing sweets that I have had in the world, are from Kolkata. My first memory of Kolkata, which I can never forget, is when I was a kid. We went to a rasgulla factory and I took one of them [rasgullas can be very hot when they are taken off the cauldron] and ate it. My mouth burnt, obviously, but that rasgulla was something I can never forget.
What is your favourite cuisine?
Its a tie. [Pauses].
The cuisines I believe in and what make me the happiest are Bong and Gujarati cuisines. I think they are happy cuisines.
Whats your signature dish?
No signatures yet but I love making Khichdi the most. There is this one kebab I have become associated with, called the Dora Kebab, because it is cooked on a silk thread and that is something people call my signature but I do not agree. For me, I do not like cooking the same dish twice.
Name some great chefs, according to you?
I think different people have different values. I think the way Sanjeev [Kapoor] can objectify things and simplify it, is outstanding. Then the charm that Vikas [Khanna] possesses, the love for food that you see in his eyes, again the hand that Kunal [Kapur] has, his craft is great with food and even the energy that Ajay [Chopra] has is fantastic.
Your USP is you plate up your food very artistically. So, where did that come from?
I am a painter. I paint as well as sculpt. So, there is a sense of aesthetics that comes naturally.
Finally, why is Afra Tafri, a transitional gastro pub?
Because we believe that you can come here at 12 in the morning and leave at 12 in the night and the ambience changes around you, that is why it is transitional.
Image: Avishek Mitra/IBNS