Sunday, June 16
Vikas Khanna Ranveer Brar exclusive interview on judging MasterChef India

Vikas Khanna, Ranveer Brar exclusive interview on judging MasterChef India | Web Series

When it comes to household names, chefs Ranveer Brar and Vikas Khanna definitely are the cream of the crop – pun intended. They are known not only for their extensive food knowledge and love of Indian cuisines, but also as judges of the popular cooking show MasterChef India, which features home cooks. The two, along with chef Pooja Dhingra, will be judging MasterChef India Season 8, which started streaming from October 16 on SonyLIV. Also read: Nayanjyoti Saikia from Assam wins MasterChef India 7

Chefs Ranveer Brar and Vikas Khanna will be back as the judges on MasterChef India season 8.
Chefs Ranveer Brar and Vikas Khanna will be back as the judges on MasterChef India season 8.

Ranveer, Vikas started cooking at a young age

Though you may feel a sense of familiarity with Vikas Khanna and Ranveer Brar after watching them on your screens for so long, there’s still a lot you probably don’t know about them. Like what sparked their interest in food, what their comfort food is, and what their thoughts on food trends and those viral Instagram Reels are. So, how did Ranveer’s love for the culinary arts start?

“I started cooking very early in life. I started cooking at 15 in Lucknow, in the streets of lucknow. It is Lucknow and its passion for food that actually made me decide that I could do this for the rest of my life,” he said.

Opening up about how he turned his passion into a career, Vikas said, “At 16, I wanted to start a business. I was a very enthu (enthusiastic) kid. And I completely love that my grandmother used to say that you serve the food and you sell it, and I will make it for you. That is how everything changed for me.”

They both love Instagram cooks and recipe videos

The MasterChef India judges are renowned chefs/all-around hilarious human beings, but who would have thought that their love for recipes and food videos on Instagram Reels runs deep? Vikas not only loves to cook, but loves to see people cook, too.

He says, “Oh my God, actually I love them (Instagram cooking and recipe videos)! They are great because they are changing the landscape and communication of food completely. The thing I like the most is how people are bringing out their local pride and they have mediums like Instagram and YouTube, where they can put things out and it can all be so inspiring for chefs. We discover new cooking methods by watching these videos every day.”

Ranveer adds, “I think it is all fantastic. Everybody in the food ecosystem needs to survive together, work together. It is all a part of the bigger food bubble and the food bubble needs to grow.”

MasterChef India unifies the country

You don’t need to be a professional chef with years of culinary experience to cook something people are excited to eat – you just need an idea, a love of good flavours. In fact, what both Ranveer and Vikas love most about MasterChef India is that it shows how food is a great unifier, powerful enough to connect people from every corner of the country.

“The homecooks on this season of MasterChef India represent parts of India that are unknown – small towns, small cities and villages that even we have not heard of,” Ranveer says. Vikas adds, “What has been truly inspiring for us is seeing these cooks come from such remote places, sometimes we also have to refer to maps to see where these places are. And to see their food being represented here, I think culturally, it is a revelation, but emotionally, it is very gratifying.”

Speaking about how the show not only showcases a wide array of uniquely talented chefs and remains popular among the masses, Vikas said that MasterChef India also has an impact on food trends across Indian households.

He said, “This show is the foundation of India’s kitchen landscape. Our industries are based on this show. Our food chains are based on this show. Our demand markets, online orderings are based on this show. The influence of this show is so vast that sometimes, it becomes invisible because it is always there. We show passionfruit on the show, and the demand for passionfruit in the market increases.”

They both call khichdi their comfort food

Back to food, when asked about dishes that put a smile on their faces, Vikas said his go-to is khichdi. Of course, it’s more than just khichdi. He said, “For many years now, I have this multigrain Gujarati khichdi that I make. It has spices that are important for metabolism and immunity. It also has vegetables. It also has a variety of grains.”

Speaking about what’s the ultimate comfort food for him, Ranveer said, “My comfort food is khichdi and my favourite ingredient to work with is ghee.”

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