Vineet Bhatia

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Vineet Bhatia
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Born (1967-12-09) December 9, 1967 (age 54)
Mumbai, India
NationalityIndian
CitizenshipIndia
Education
  • Diploma in Hotel Management and Catering Technology
  • BA (Hons)
Alma materUniversity of Bombay
Occupation
  • Chef
  • Restaurateur
  • Author
  • Media personality
Known forFirst-ever Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star
Spouse(s)Rashima Bhatia
Children2
Websitewww.vineetbhatia.com

Vineet Bhatia (born December 9, 1967) is an Indian chef, restaurateur, author, and media personality. He is best known for modernising Indian cuisine through his progressive concept and was the first-ever Indian chef to be awarded a “Michelin star”.[1] He then opened two Rasoi restaurants, the first in Chelsea, London in 2004, and the second in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2008. Both restaurants received Michelin stars in 2006 and 2009 respectively, making Vineet the first and only Indian chef to receive two Michelin stars.[2] Currently, he has 11 restaurants around the world, including his signature restaurant KAMA by Vineet in the dining hall in Harrods and appears as a judge on Netflix show The Final Table and judge-host on MasterChef India. To date he has written two cookbooks, Rasoi: New Indian Kitchen and My Sweet Kitchen.

Early Life

Born in 1967, Vineet Bhatia grew up in Mumbai. Woken daily by the sounds of planes flying into the neighbouring airport, Bhatia dreamt of one day becoming a pilot himself. Having passed the National Defence Exam to join the Air Force it was a substantial blow to fail the physical test required to realise his dream at the age of 17. It was at this juncture that Bhatia turned to his mother’s first love, cooking, for inspiration, a decision that would see him piloting the course of Indian cuisine in London for the next three decades.

Career

Vineet went to catering college at The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Mumbai from 1985-1988, obtaining a Diploma in Hotel Management and Catering Technology, whilst simultaneously studying for his BA (Hons) in Economics at the University of Bombay, which he successfully completed in 1989.

Bhatia was recruited as a trainee to The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, New Delhi in 1988 where he trained until 1990. Bhatia went on to work as Chef de Cuisine at The Oberoi from 1990-1993.

Vineet moved to London in 1993, taking on the position of Executive Chef at Star of India, South Kensington where, within a year, he had transformed the menu.

Bhatia continued to push this evolution further, in 1998 teaming up with PR guru Iqbal Wahhab to conceptualise Cinnamon Club, before heading up the kitchen at Vineet Bhatia, Hammersmith the following year. The Hammersmith restaurant quickly attracted critical acclaim from the likes of AA Gill, who wrote that Vineet offered “food from one of the best Indian chefs anywhere […] It is shameful to point out that if Bhatia cooked in French or Italian vernacular or came from New York, he would be hailed as a super chef.”

Vineet went on to establish Zaika in 1999, which was hailed by The Observer as “the crown jewel of Indian restaurants.” In 2001 Bhatia made history with Zaika, becoming the first Indian chef to be awarded a “Michelin Star” and that too in London. He spent a further three years at Zaika before going on his own in 2004 at Rasoi in Chelsea. Critics expected the restaurant to earn a Michelin star soon after opening[3] and in 2006 this became a reality, becoming the second Michelin Star received by Bhatia. Shortly after, he opened Rasoi by Vineet in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2009, the restaurant received a Michelin Star, making Bhatia a 2-star Michelin chef, the only Indian chef to have held the accolade, and one of the few British chefs to have Michelin Stars in more than one country.

Soon after, he expanded globally, opening his first restaurant Saffron Lounge in Doha, Qatar, in 2012, to go alongside his already established restaurant in Dubai, Indego.[4] His Middle East expansion continued and in 2015, he opened his first restaurant in Saudi Arabia. Maharaja by Vineet opened in the Mövenpick Hotel Al Khobar, Riyadh in 2015.[5] After two years of operation, Maharaja was awarded the best Indian restaurant at the Food & Travel Arabia awards.[6]

In 2016, Bhatia re-modelled his original restaurant Rasoi in Chelsea, launching Vineet Bhatia London, or VBL for short. Wishing to push the boundaries of Indian cuisine further, Bhatia’ vision for VBL was to offer only a tasting menu, a multi-course Experience Menu showcasing his progressive approach to Indian cuisine. Within a few months of opening, it was awarded a Michelin Star, one of the quickest accreditations in the history of the Michelin guide. However, following a disagreement with his partners at VBL, Vineet decided to close the restaurant and re-focus his efforts elsewhere.[7]

In 2019, Vineet opened his new venture, KAMA by Vineet, in London, in the newly refurbished dining hall at Harrods, making him the only Michelin starred chef at the London department store.[8]

Television

In 2011, Vineet launched his television career, starting with his first show Twist of Taste, a culinary journey across India, exploring the depth and breadth of Indian cuisine and showcasing the beauty of the country and what it has to offer.[9] Following a two-season spell with the Fox Traveller show, Bhatia appeared as the expert for Indian cuisine on the Final Table, a Netflix cooking series. He appeared on the India episode and the final episode as the judge for the Final Plate.[10]

In 2019, Vineet Bhatia joined the MasterChef India panel as one of the judge-hosts in the sixth season of the show. His appearance on the new installment of the show helped the show get its best ratings for a season and through his warm, empathetic and charming personality has quickly established himself as a firm fan favourite.


Restaurants

Restaurant Location Years Rating
Star of India London, United Kingdom 1993 - 1998
Zaika London, United Kingdom 1999 - 2004 1 Michelin star
Safran Belle Mare, Mauritius 2002 - 2006
Tantra Los Angeles, United States of America 2002 - 2007
Rasoi London, United Kingdom 2004 - 2016 1 Michelin star
Indego Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2006 - Present
Indus Moscow, Russia 2006 - 2010
Urban Turban London, United Kingdom 2008 - 2010
Maharaja Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia 2008 - Present
Rasoi Geneva, Switzerland 2008 - Present 1 Michelin star
B.I.R.D Leeds, United Kingdom 2008 - 2013
Saffron Lounge Doha, Qatar 2009 - 2018
Ziya Mumbai, India 2010 - Present
Amari Belle Mare, Mauritius 2014 - Present
Maharaja East Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 2015 - Present
Rasoi Manama, Bahrain 2015 - Present
Vineet Bhatia London London, United Kingdom 2016 - 2018 1 Michelin star
Indego 360 Doha, Qatar 2018 - Present
Rasoi Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 2019 - Present
Indya Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2019 - Present
KAMA London, United Kingdom 2019 - Present

Bibliography

Vineet Bhatia has authored 2 highly acclaimed cookbooks:


  • Rasoi : New Indian Kitchen
  • My Sweet Kitchen


Vineet Bhatia in the Media

                 

References

  1. "Empire-Building Chef Vineet Bhatia Is the Indian Cuisine Expert on 'The Final Table'".
  2. "Vineet Bhatia wins second Michelin star".
  3. "Stars in their eyes".
  4. "Saffron Lounge by Vineet Bhatia".
  5. "Maharaja by Vineet presents a fascinating business lunch".
  6. "Maharaja by Vineet Scoops 'Best Indian Restaurant'".
  7. "London Diary: Two great Indian chefs bounce back with terrific new restaurants after falling out with their partners".
  8. "Restaurant review: Marina O'Loughlin on Kama by Vineet, Harrods, London".
  9. "Twist of Taste with Vineet Bhatia is back!".
  10. "Empire-Building Chef Vineet Bhatia Is the Indian Cuisine Expert on 'The Final Table'".

External Links

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