Celebrity chef Kunal Kapur dons many hats. He’s wowed the country with his food, unique television shows, cookbooks and judging on MasterChef India. But not many know that travelling is as dear to him as food. Here’s what he told us during a recent conversation.
If you weren’t a chef, or in the food business, what would you be?
A really bad banker. As I’m the only male child in my family, they always expected me to become a banker.
Describe the traveller in you.
I feel travelling is the biggest stress buster and it de-stresses me. Everybody is dealing with something or the other in their lives and it’s very important to keep travelling. Since my childhood, I always wanted to travel a lot but then money was always a concern so couldn’t travel a lot in those days.
How do you spend your time in transit?
I prefer reading while travelling or may be researching about that particular destination.
Food or travel?
Travel. You travel you eat, food is the fixed part.
What’s your regular comfort meal?
Karela, jeera alloo and roti.
What is your favourite travel snack?
Roasted nuts and juice.
What is the one thing that remains the same for both food and travel?
What would the traveller in you pick from street-side local cuisine and an authentic premium restaurant?
I would love to go local and try street food, but then I’m very particular about food and place hygiene.
Name one Indian city that serves the best food.
Amritsar. There’s honesty in food there. Whenever you cook at home for your loved ones, you would always take care of the basic food hygiene. The food cooked with honesty would definitely give you a different taste and flavour.
What is your fondest travel memory?
Four months back I went to Switzerland. Its a gorgeous place. At the Swiss Alps I spotted a lady and she taught me how to make real butter, and then an old man helped me in making cheese in cauldrons and collecting milk. This was real fun.
In what ways are cuisine and travel related?
Around 10-15 years back, travelling to a place meant visiting its tourist spots but now both are synonymous. Countries like Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and thriving on their culinary tourism.
Where in the world would you go for an outstanding meal?
Do you ever consider a destination’s celebrity restaurants while planning your trip?
I do look up their restaurant food to see what they are doing. This gives me a chance to meet my friends.
Which is the one travel dream you’d rush to fulfil?
Travel to the poles (Arctic and Antarctica).
Best travel advice you’ve got?
Don’t take travel as an expense, instead it’s an investment that gives you unforgettable experiences in life!
Describe travel in three words.
Explore. Share. De-stress.
A funny experience while travelling.
This happened at the Indian railways where you would always find people making adjustments. It becomes a journey of entertainment. People not buying their tickets, sharing their berths and suddenly you see a hand from the window offering food. Its really entertaining.
Do you travel light?
I always want to but never could.
Worst food tasted?
Don’t want to name it but then there is a hyped dhaba at the Delhi-Chandigarh highway. I ordered some mutton, dal and roti, and trust me, everything was unpalatable.
Any guilty food pleasure?
Chocolates. I eat them everyday.
Newest thing tasted?
Lamb brain. It was delicious till I knew I was eating brain.
As told to Ekta Sachdeva