Published: 30th October 2020
Future of food looks very homegrown to me: Chef Sanjeev Kapoor on why his online academy can help you become a foodpreneur
Nurture the new-found cook within you by pursuing courses on Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's online academy. They are starting off with three courses and will add many more soon. This is what it's all about
There is no doubt about the fact that COVID has definitely awakened the chef in all of us. Whether it's whipping up Dalgona Coffee or baking Sourdough Bread, cooking had suddenly become cool again. More like a necessity too, because ordering in, the option which we were all so hooked to, was still a scary thought. But now, if you are getting really serious about learning the life skill, learn from the best. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor recently launched India's first celebrity Online culinary academy — Sanjeevkapooracademy.com. The Padma Shri and multiple award-winning Masterchef joined hands with Knorish, a Gurugram-based company, to get the tech rolling in tandem with his kitchen chops.
Three courses, Start Your Food Business From Home, Immunity Booster Recipies and India's Favourite: Restaurant and home style dishes is what India's favourite chef has decided to start off with. But he promises that there is a lot more in store. But how does the restaurant business look in the context of the pandemic and what are the rising trends, we couldn't possibly let him go without squeezing in these and other questions as well. Excerpts for our conversation:
The world has indeed gone digital, more so since the pandemic. Tell us what goes into curating a cooking course and why does the approach have to be different when it is online?
First things first, in the pandemic, food has been the biggest growth as an interest area. Hence, this cooking course is our attempt to share whatever knowledge and expertise I’ve acquired over the years with the masses. This cooking course is a hands-on experiential programme that will help participants and food enthusiasts understand ingredients, techniques and cooking methodologies in the best way possible. As everything is virtual where people won’t be able to really taste, touch and smell the recipes, the one-way mode of communication in this particular programme is comprehensively detailed and speaks a language that will resonate and be understood by all.
Start Your Food Business From Home and Immunity Booster Recipes sound like the kind of courses that are the need of the hour. Tell us about the components of these courses and what sets it apart from similar courses available online? What's unique about them?
This pandemic has encouraged the of almost everyone's inner chef today. People have been nurturing it. So, I say, why let your efforts go in vain? If you have the talent and are working hard on it, why not master it, which in turn can lead you to monetary gains as well at some point or the other in life. Keeping this in mind, these courses are designed according to the ‘need of the hour’ and are answers to many questions in our everyday life. The components include recipes, instructions, detailed guides and offers which will be beneficial to participants. Adding to this, I’ll say that we have been category specialists for years and understanding the needs of the consumer has been our forte.
Because there is more emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene nowadays, we see that you have included these in the online course. Do tell us what this includes.
Pandemic or not, it goes without saying that cleanliness and hygiene is one of the most important aspects not only while cooking food, but, is also critical for the community and country at large. Hence, there was an absolutely essential requirement for us to include methods in our programme, that would focus on the importance of all these facets. These include all FSSAI, government guidelines and best industry practices that will be shared and instructed in the course.
What other courses can we expect in the future? And what other additions can we look forward to the online academy itself?
It’s just the beginning and I assure you that there are many more things that these courses will focus on in the future. Some of them will be more health-related — like we’ll work on dealing with common problems like diabetes, hypertension and others. You’ll just have to wait and watch out for what’s more in store!
As a consequence of the pandemic, many food businesses have started from home. In such a scenario, as a customer, what to keep in mind while ordering from a new home business?
I’ll just share a personal checklist that has always helped me take the right and safest decisions while ordering food from a home business.
- Make sure that the person or establishment is trusted. If it's absolutely new, do a thorough homework, like – read up about them online, check their reference, enquire from your friends and family and so on.
- Carry out due diligence, speak to them on call or best do a video call if possible, to have a look at their kitchen, quality of ingredients and so on.
- Be skeptical, ask as many questions as you can. You have the right to know how and where your food is coming from.
What is the future of the food industry and what can it do to evolve further to meet the changing needs of the changing times?
A year back, nobody in their wildest dreams could foresee or even predict such distressing times. Now that we are hit by this global crisis, a lot of things that we used to take for granted or didn’t believe in, have actually been our saviours. This is true even in the food industry. So, I would only say that the future of the food industry looks very ‘homegrown’ to me. Going back to what our parents fed us while growing up is the way forward. To put it technically, a radical shift on healthy home-style food and cooking is what the food industry will now be paying more attention to. And it’s absolutely going to be good with this way of life!