“Born in Lucknow, it was somewhat inevitable that Ranveer Brar would be fascinated with the city's street kebab vendors. When he was17 years of age, one such kebab ustad, Munir Ahmed, tutored Brar on the finer points of kebab making. That was the epiphanic moment that made him choose cooking as his calling. It took a good deal of convincing his parents who were important land-owners in the district that their son could be a cook and yet be respected, and finally Brar was able to enroll himself at the catering management college in Lucknow.

Since then, his life has taken on an enviable trajectory: He has been in the fortunate position of having been in the opening team of one restaurant after another.Starting in hotels with the Taj Mahal in Delhi, he was fortunate to be in the opening teams of Kafe Fontana and the renovated Machan and Ricks. At his next posting in Goa, he opened Morisco (a seafood restaurant), II Camino (an Italian restaurant) and Fishtail (an open-air barbecue eatery).It was here that Brar discovered himself as a chef, allowing time and effort to develop a style distinctively his own. Hailing from the north and opening a seafood restaurant in the seafood capital of the country remains, till date, the biggest challenge he has faced. What he gained in the process was a deeper connection with food and ingredients.

"I would spend days on trawlers, fishing boats and in fish markets to absorb the essence of the culture of which food was a vital part, a part that I wanted to be able to represent accurately." His next challenge was the Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida, his main contribution being the creative elements at R.E.D. (Rare Eastern Dining) and Made in India. At the age of 25, Brar became the youngest Executive Chef of that time and opened the Chocolate Box, a unique pastry shop with live chocolate making and customized chocolate designs. Having missed cooking at the range, Brar moved to Boston where he opened the restaurant Banq, which won numerous Awards, including the best new restaurant in the world by the magazine, Wallpaper. He also had the distinction of cooking at the James Beard House, NY, of which he is an honorary member. With a new menu planned by him, Kashmir, an Indian restaurant, won the Best of Boston award in 2010. After five intensely challenging years in the US, he is back in the country, as the Executive Chef of the Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach.

In this hotel, with a strong food & beverage history, Brar has embraced Mumbai and used his culinary experience and flair to upgrade the cuisine of all restaurants, especially Bageecha, the outdoor Indian eatery and Olio, the Italian restaurant. He has achieved whatever he has at an incredibly young age, but he feels that his greatest strength is to be able to view the culture of a place holistically, to be able to place a cuisine in it, and finally to be able to translate that cuisine onto a plate. And cooking still gives him a high. Despite his youth, he has been recognized for his contribution to various cuisines by such institutions as AIWF, AICA, Mayor of Boston, James Beard House, and has also represented India at the WPF.”

(Excerpt from the book “Celebrated Chefs of India”)
Marryam H. Reshii
Renowned food critic and food writer

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