He’s just back in town, in between his rather hectic shoot schedules. Celebrated chef Vicky Ratnani’s (of food shows Vickypedia, Vicky Goes Veg, cook book Vicky Goes Non Veg fame) Facebook presence is replete with fun moments shared with his 14-year-old daughter, Tanisha (affectionately nicknamed Tanzy). They clearly share a warm, brilliant bond. One that involves whipping up smoothies and cakes in the kitchen to snacking together on a Burger King whopper at a mall to catching a movie together, listening to music and playing Bingo.

Here are excerpts from a conversation with Vicky:

Do you manage to spend enough time with Tanisha?

Well, we live together in the same house (laughs). But seriously, yes, it is not that I am out every day or am shooting round the clock. Even if I am not around, I call her to say hi! I am aware of her schedule—she goes for dance classes, has tuitions.

Celebrated chef Vicky Ratnani is a cool dad, who lets his daughter use social media and stir up a storm in the kitchen, while making sure she stays grounded.
So you are pretty clued in?

Oh yes. Sometimes, I call up her teachers and check on her performance. I am still trying to get a grip of her IB curriculum though, as I have done ICSE. But I am plugged in, all right. My wife Piya is around more than I am, though.

So you’re cool with Tanzy having her own Facebook account?

Yes. As parents we share an honest, cool bond with her. Tanzy is quite sorted in her head. She knows there are certain rules that come with this deal. Not accepting friend requests from strangers. No latching into FB post-school. She is quite busy with her school, hobby classes and tuitions, and us, to take much time out for FB anyway. She also understands that if the rules are flouted, I am capable of deleting her FB account. So we have an understanding in place. Get good grades, behave well and you will get what you deserve. There are no shortcuts.

Any screen time specifics?

She loves catching up cooking specials on YouTube and has quite an evolved palate. Tanzy improvises in her own ways, adding Sichuan chutney to rev up the flavour of a dish, or her own curious additions and combinations. She is quite a foodie and picks up her own basket to shop for cold cuts and ingredients when we shop at a food mart. I get to learn a lot too (smiles).

Shilpi Madan for Indian Express

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