Meeting Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

The Dubai Food Carnival happened earlier this month and brought back memories of the lovely time I had there.

This was almost 10 months back but today when I glanced through the pictures, the memories of that wonderful afternoon spent seeing my culinary idol came rushing back!

I hesitated posting about my experience for the longest time but then reminded myself that this blog is my journal for the highs I have had when it came to my blogging journey. So here I share this great moment with you all before we see another edition of the Dubai Food Carnival.

So how did this all begin, read on. Facebook contests have been lucky for me (touchwood!). I got to travel on an all expense paid trip to Paris and Amsterdam late 2013 and I thought nothing gets as awesome as this.

And then cut to late March 2014, I saw this contest by Melia Hotel about a Meet & Greet Opportunity with Sanjeev Kapoor, a complimentary meal at his much acclaimed restaurant Signature at Dubai Food Carnival.

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

I participated with bated breath and to my utter amazement I won the chance. I had anyways bought tickets for Dubai Food Carnival to see his cooking demonstration.

I rushed to collect the winner’s pass and was a bundle of giddy nerves until next afternoon. The cooking demonstration started and Chef Sanjeev mesmerized everyone with his humble anecdotes and stories. The one thing which stuck me was how grounded and unassuming he is about his success.

Maybe this quality is what has helped him reach where he is now. The best thing is how he likes to keep things and food simple. He discussed how his wife makes the best biryani and fondly remembers the tasty Gujrati food his mother-in-law makes.

The funny re-collection of his encounter with dealing with the myth that Indian food is spicy and just loaded with chillies, when he was working in New Zealand. The dish turning out to be a bestseller on the restaurant menu after a customer requesting to make it spicier over there was quite amusing.

Midway through the demo, he showcased how simple tweaks to the way simple ingredients are handled can help home cooks create restaurant style plating and garnishes.

Tikkis

He asked someone from the audience with good knife skills to volunteer. I jumped at the opportunity.

With shaking hands, he handed me a potato and asked me to make cuts similar to a hassle back potato but in a nice square shape.

Call it stage fright or me being star stuck with him around, I managed the cut well but forgot the square shape. He being the gentleman simply complimented me for the knife skills and getting the cut right. He jokingly said that here I will gift you the knife, if the organizers allow me!

Also take this opportunity to thank Joselin from Melia Hotel and the great team at Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor. As a part of the contest, I was also treated to a meal at their stand at Dubai Food Carnival.

I loved the Makai (Corn Flour) ki Roti, Sarson Ka Saag (Cooked Mustard Greens) and the Paneer Tikka Masala they did.

Sarson Ka Saag

Paneer Tikka

The revelation was the Lemongrass flavoured Buttermilk topped with roasted cumin seeds, very refreshing!

Lemongrass Buttermilk

Sahil had some meat dish and Galouti Kebabs and my man was grinning!

Chicken

Galouti Kebab

Why I revisited these pictures after all these months? I missed the Food Carnival this year as I was on a vacation and I realized it’s been close to a year already. Phew! Time does fly. Better late than never! 🙂

Apart from that I was also craving Sarso Ka Saag and thought of the one I ate at Chef Sanjeev’s restaurant stand. Utterly delicious with the Makke Ki Roti topped with white butter!

Apart from this I also got all my cookbooks signed by the chef extraordinaire. It makes me happy every time I flip open one for some inspiration.

Next time around August last year, I got a chance to see Chef Sanjeev Kapoor at his restaurant “Options” while they were hosting the Independence Day Dinner. While we spoke, he gave some honest life lessons in embracing positivity in life and taking the burnt toast with a smile.

More food stories to follow as I do a round up of events I attended in 2014 and how it was one eventful year!

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