Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar is one of India’s most highly sought after culinary artistes, perfecting the palate both on and off the telly, on domestic and foreign turf, and wooing everyone through his handcrafted menus at his smashing restaurants. He believes food is a universal giver. Meet chef Ranveer Brar of Breakfast Xpress, The Great Indian Rasoi, Thank God It’s Fryday, Health Bhi Taste Bhi, Season 4 of MasterChef India…. fame. He is just back from a 22-day sojourn and we nail him in an exclusive one-on-one to ferret pearls of wisdom on parenting his son, Ishaan, all of three-and-a-half years at the moment.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Your work makes you travel aplenty. What are the small, special ways in which you bond with Ishaan?
I bathe him and get him ready for school when I am around. When I am travelling, I facetime with him on the phone to stay connected. He tells me what’s happening in his life, with school, in the playground…Also, when I’m in Mumbai, it’s a ritual that we take an afternoon nap together and go to the park to play. Then it’s just me and him. I love that.
You’re Punjabi and confess to being brought up on panjiri. Does Ishaan share the same tastebuds?
(laughs) Honestly, he is a more cookie, rather than panjiri, kind of guy. We had lesser exposure to the outside world, our young ones are so much more clued in now with the telly, web…their food choices are different.
What about the linguistic intake?
It’s a rule in our home—we speak only in Punjabi. My parents, Pallavi (my wife; she is Maharashtrian, but has picked up the language beautifully) and I speak in Punjabi. So Ishaan understands Punjabi and converses a bit as well in the language too.
Is Ishaan excited to see you on the telly?
Not really. He has seen me on the telly since he was born, so he is quite blasé. No sense of false prestige here!
You are away for long spells sometimes, so what about the guilt of a working dad ? What would you change, if you could?
For short travel slabs, close by, Pallavi and Ishaan join me. For instance, if I’m shooting in Lonavla or any other location for a short duration, they come along. Else, we video chat. I can change it—and want to change—the frequency of my travel. I want to be around more for Ishaan.
Shilpi Madan for Indian Express