‘I feel cooking by yourself ensures respect for food’

Celebrity chef Kunal Kapoor, whose first job was in Bengaluru, says wastage of food can be avoided

Kunal Kapoor is a well-known name in the culinary field. Having represented India on a global platform, his name also appears in Limca Book of Records for creating the country’s largest ‘Chocolate Tower’.

Kunal was in town recently for the launch of American brand Hamilton Beach Professional’s Juicer Mixer Grinder. Metrolife got in touch with him as he talks about his journey as a chef, his connection with Bengaluru and more.

Tell us about your connection with Bengaluru?

My first job was at the Taj group of hotels in Bengaluru. I later spent six months in the restaurant ‘Karavali’, learning different culinary methods and techniques. The city gave me my first job and first salary and thus holds a special place in my life. I have a lot of favourites here; Vidyarthi Bhavan is one among them.

What kind of food are you into?

These days I focus on healthy food. When I cook, I make sure to use local ingredients that are lesser-known but high in nutrition value. I grow my own vegetables, which is good exercise and also helps in destressing. 

Wastage of food is so pertinent today. How can one cut down on this?

Firstly, getting into the kitchen and cooking by yourself stops wastage of food. When one realises the amount of effort that goes into making food, you develop respect towards it. Invest in smart equipment. And if there’s extra food, feed the hungry or give it to stray animals.

Incidents of chicken pieces being found in vegetarian dishes have come to light in recent times from different parts of the country. Thoughts?

As humans, we are bound to make mistakes. But I am also not defending the restaurants. It is important to take care, especially when it comes to food as it is associated with beliefs and emotions. 

Do you think fusion food makes the dish lose authenticity?

It does. Progressive food is about experimenting. But one should not worry about authenticity; there are restaurants which serve only authentic food. Here, one can try whatever they want to eat.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

There are many but I am not allowed to disclose them yet. I run a restaurant called ‘Namak’ in Abu Dhabi and am busy with that now. I have also been working towards sheltering stray animals.

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