OCTV: Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij’s Unique Journey Through Food – ANOKHI Awards Interview
During the summer of 2016, the #ANOKHI13 Awards took place when I had the opportunity to chat with Canada’s most well-known Indian chef Vikram Vij. We started our conversation about him recounting flirting with me the first time we met lolol (and no, I’m not special, Vikram LOVES women in general) and he explained his philosophy of life that he applies to food, women, and philanthropy.
Other than his renowned portfolio of restaurants and retail products, he is involved with a number of philanthropic organizations including the University of British Columbia Farm Fundraisers and The Green Table Society. Vij has also funded and opened Vij’s Kitchen, a state of the art culinary learning facility at the University of British Columbia.
His culinary and business expertise along with his boisterous personality landed him a guest judge spot on Top Chef Canada and as a Dragon in Canada’s leading business reality show, CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
This was my 6th interview from that time and one that I loved ding due to the no filter persona of this incredibly talented man . . .
Raj Girn XO
A Little Bio On Vikram Vij:
Canadian chef, restauranteur, cookbook author and television personality Vikram Vij’s career took off by accident. He was a young cook in Vienna’s Austrian Post Hotel when he was asked to make something spicy for a customer. That customer was Ivor Petrak, the manager of the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Petrak was so taken by Vij’s spicy goulash he mailed him a one-way ticket to Canada. In 1994, Vij and creative partner Meeru Dhalwala, opened Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver which New York Times food writer Mark Bittmen noted as “easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” In 2004, Vij expanded by opening another restaurant, Rangoli, also in Vancouver.
To cater to the demand for packaged meals in British Columbia and across Canada, Vij launched, Vij’s Inspired Indian Cuisine in Surrey, creating packaged meals all cooked by hand. His latest restaurant, My Shanti, opened in South Surrey, British Columbia in 2014, and was named Best New Restaurant by The Globe and Mail. He also received the Chevrolet Ingenuity Award at RBC’s 2015 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.
Vij is involved with a number of philanthropic organizations including the University of British Columbia Farm Fundraisers and The Green Table Society. Along with his creative partner, Dhalwala, Vij has funded and opened Vij’s Kitchen, a state of the art culinary learning facility at the University of British Columbia. Vij’s culinary and business expertise along with his boisterous personality landed him a guest judge spot on Top Chef Canada and as a Dragon in Canada’s leading business reality show, CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
His culinary philosophy? Dedication to authenticity in Indian cuisine. He believes eating should be an intimate experience — advice he gave to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also a patron of his eateries.
Farah joined ANOKHI four years ago while finishing up her degree in English Literature and Writing at the University of Toronto. Her position since then has expanded across all departments, everything from office administration and corporate affairs, to ANOKHI’s online presence a...
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