He is creative, passionate about food, and knows his ingredients. Celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani charts nouveau veg recipes that he presents with a dash of showmanship in his kitchen diaries. The facebook pages of his account are replete with his worldwide. travels, grabs from his TV shows and a few special moments, like the launch of his cookbook, and that of enjoying a whopper at Burger King with his little daughter.

Leading chef Vicky Ratnani turns vegetarian with a vengeance and whips up amazing dishes for the health conscious

It is a radical shift for the chef as he records a rather glamorous career curve (much like his brother, the famous photographer Dabboo Ratnani), from his days of heading the kitchen aboard luxury liners (“I have worked with 38 different nationalities so far in my career, and was even managing a team of 140 people aboard a cruise liner at one point”) to powering new-age, fusion menus at swanky resto bars like Aurus and Nido in Mumbai, to authoring books and hosting food shows. And now, he has turned vegetarian.

Going veg? About his conversion to the green lifestyle, he admits candidly, “I did it for my TV show and for my cook book, Vicky Goes Veg.” As a vegetarian I certainly feel a lot lighter, more active, and sport a better skin tone. I love eating fresh alads, home-cooked rajma, and even pumpkin. My favourite vegetable is sweet potato, there is so much you can do with it. I feel garlic is one ingredient that can rev up any dish, any time. It makes for a superb conversion factor in cooking. I find vegetarian recipes are often relegated to predictable ingredients like cottage cheese, baby corn and mushroom. Forget boredom, there is fun you can have with beetroot, bottle gourd, water chestnuts… the list is endless.

Says Vicky,”It is very tough to shop for fresh, local produce in India. The ingredients just aren’t available readily.” He works at a super-hectic pace (he is now working on his latest food show, Vickypedia), but special moments at home with family count a lot

Shilpi Madan for Deccan Herald

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