By Kabir M Ali
April 13, 2017 was a milestone! Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, a household name in India through Khana Khazana and FoodFood was conferred with the fourth highest civil decoration, the prestigious ‘Padma Shri’ award from the hands of honourable Pranab Mukherjee, President of India. Sanjeev Kapoor is the first professional chef representing the entire hospitality industry to have been awarded this. Thus, creating another benchmark for himself as well as the fraternity! The entire hospitality industry is grateful to him for this achievement.
To celebrate this special recognition bestowed on Chef Sanjeev Kapoor by Sanjay Vazirani, CEO and MD Foodlink joined hands with the Government of India, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the body representing the entire restaurant industry of India , to honour the much deserved. The evening was marked by a grand event for the entire fraternity along with Sanjeev’s family, friends and associates at Foodlink’s Jade Ballroom in the very plush locality of Worli. It belonged to the who’s who with the presence of industry stalwarts like, Rajeev Matta, Zorawar Kalra, Ranveer Brar, Suhas Awchat, Satish Arora, Vicky Ratnani, A D Singh, Anurag Katriar, Riyaaz Amlani, Sanjay Vazirani, and Rishi & Neetu Kapoor, Ramesh and Kiran Sippy, Maria Goretti, Benny Dayal, Amrita Raichand, Pratap Sarnaik, Shweta Khanduri, Raju Srivastav, Avinash Wadhwan, Anuradha Paudwal,Vithhal Kamath, Vijay Kalantri, Raju Srivastav, Vikram Sathaye, Nisha Harale, Ravi Behl, Joe Ranjan, Rageshwari and Varun Badola, Shamir Tandon, RJ Archana, Dr. Siddharth Khosa, Harpal Singh, Mickey Mehta, Vijay Kalantri, Sharad Kachalia etc and many more besides the man of the moment, Sanjeev Kapoor!
The evening highlights comprised of an extraordinary spread of gourmet offerings, live music by Maddy N Jojo and a short film on Sanjeev Kapoor’s illustrious journey which made many of his near and dear ones teary-eyed! The revelries were followed by the felicitation of the Master Chef by Riyaaz Amlani, President, NRAI and Sanjeev expressing his gratitude and thanking everyone who made this possible for him.
Sanjeev Kapoor said, ‘When I started my journey way back in 1984 after passing out from IHM, PUSA, I didn’t have a master plan as to what all I would be getting into. All I knew was that I have to take Indian cuisine to the top spot on the world culinary map, pretty much my dream! So, I just kept taking on all the challenges as they were thrown at me, with a smile and perseverance.One thing lead to the other and with the constant support, love and appreciation from my family, friends and followers, it kept getting better and better”
I dedicate this honour to everyone who has shown faith in me without which this would not have been possible.I am also thankful to the almighty to have given me the means with which I could contribute in the field of food, and in turn to the society through my work. I am humbled and feel great about the fact that I could do this for my fraternity. The doors are now open for others to shine and reach other pinnacles like Padma Bhushan and PadmaVibhushan! And as for me, I’ll continue working on my dream. I’m not resting until I achieve it!’