Evolve, do not get stuck on authenticity: Chef Ranveer Brar

New Delhi: Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar says that as food has evolved with ages, one needs to be part of that evolution and not get stuck on authenticity.

He says food is a "subjective matter" that has made him face a lot of criticism with respect to taste or authenticity. "I believe that food has changed from generation to generation. It has evolved with ages... hence, I feel that we need to be a part of that evolution and not get stuck on authenticity," Brar told IANS life in an interview.

"For instance, I recently posted a video of 'chicken momos' and a viewer commented that they were not authentic! My reply to them was that 'chicken momo' in itself doesn't exist. The traditional 'momo,' if you go to Lhasa for example, is made with red meat. So, one needs to look at a chef/cook's interpretation of a dish rather than remaining stuck in the hamster wheel," he recalled.

Brar, who started serious cooking at the age of 15, feels that the food industry as a career avenue is more well-favoured now as there are several options beyond just donning the apron.

"The amount of talent available to the industry today is outstanding. I see hospitality students well supported by their parents to pursue their passion. And the change isn't restricted to just the commercial scenario. Thanks to the presence and growth of a variety of visual and social mediums, home chefs too are reaching out to larger audiences to share their passion for cooking," he said.

Brar, who has featured in several TV shows, believes that Indian food is "well-grounded, well-rooted and versatile." He says because of the uniqueness and versatility of the Indian cuisine, it's catching up a global scale.

"I myself make it a point to talk about these as well as heirloom recipes and ingredients in my shows and pop-ups. And it's heart-warming to see the uniqueness and versatility of the Indian cuisine being highlighted in home kitchens and commercial kitchens alike and it's definitely catching up on a global scale too.

Brar envisions the Indian F&B industry going through major upheaval in terms of scaling and replication. He says the industry has a bright future and it's the passion and love for food which makes the business automatically happen.

"In terms of a long-term vision, I think that both dining out as well as cooking and entertaining at home will increase simultaneously. I also envision our F&B industry going through major upheaval in terms of scaling and replication. We might soon see our own chains of McDonalds and Pizza Huts, i.e food businesses of that magnitude."

For Brar, food is a medium of expression. He compares his craft with that of an artist who expresses him/herself through their art.

"It's basically my emotions transferred on to the plate. When I think of a dish, I envision everything, from the ingredients to serving portions, serving ware to final presentation. I aim to make people think of the story behind the dish when they eat it, to make that connect with its source or a memory."

Brar believes that combining nutrition and taste is quite easy. "Once you realize that the basic premise of food is to provide nourishment. Moderation allows you to have the goodness of those ingredients in a balanced manner, without compromising on taste."

"I align my philosophy to the line of thought that it shouldn't be difficult to add taste to nourishment. Moderation is another aspect. If you start removing elements from a recipe to adhere to a diet restriction and so forth, it tends to make the entire dish to go awry. What I typically do instead is to use all ingredients in moderation because I strongly believe that the essential ingredients for any dish were added to serve a purpose."

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