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Vicky Ratnani : The Gastronaut

Vicky Ratnani is a chef who has garnered experience globally and used it in India to elevate its food scenario to a next level. With his dedication and love for the F&B industry, he has bagged many achievements, and has undoubtedly become a food legend of India.

Vicky Ratnani, an Indian chef, television personality, and a culinary virtuoso, has his career enriched with years of experience shaped in more than 45 countries. With his experience mulched with global influences, he has fashioned local ingredients and modern techniques to give birth to some contemporary fine-dining dishes. Born and currently based in Mumbai, Ratnani has augmented the Indian culinary scenario as he introduced molecular gastronomy to Aurus in Mumbai, while acting as its consulting chef and swayed the trend in Nido, Mumbai towards local produce, natural ingredients, and micro-greens.

Currently acting as the Culinary Director of Everstone Capital, Ratnani is also the developer of a web series, ‘The Gastronaut’. The series explores global trends in food. The multi-faceted chef also shares responsibilities of Harry’s Bar across India. Needless to say, Ratnani is currently one of the most prominent faces of the culinary scenario in India. He has done a variety of shows including ‘Vickypedia’, ‘Do It Sweet’, ‘Gourmet Central’, ‘Vicky Goes Veg’ and ‘Vicky Goes Foreign’ among others. His debut cookbook, ‘Vicky Goes Veg’, received the honour of Gourmand Award for the Best Vegetarian Cookbook in 2015.

Initially joining the hospitality management training with no intention of becoming a chef, Ratnani’s dishes impressed many in his journey and convinced him to pursue a career in the Food & Beverages (F&B) industry as a chef. He trained at the Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai. He sailed through his journey, literally beginning as a chef on ocean liners and cruise ships, travelling around foreign shores for almost a decade and a half. Even then to hone his skills during his two-month vacation, he would come back home for three weeks and spend the other five weeks working in family-run kitchens in Genoa and Venice, to learn family-style Italian cooking.

The chef also constituted in the opening team for Queen Mary 2 (QM2), a transatlantic ocean liner, the largest ever built, which is the only passenger ship operating as an ocean liner today. He managed to set-up the largest restaurant at sea in 2004 — Britannia Restaurant & Kitchen—while he was aboard QM2. Later, he became Executive Sous Chef of QM2. Subsequently, he managed to become the Executive Chef for Queen Victoria, a Vista-class cruise ship operated by the Cunard Line. These he counts among his most memorable and enriching experiences.
Chef Ratnani’s lifestyle is replete with travel, learning about productivity, management, regional cuisine, community cooking, home-style cooking and more. Among the many feathers in his cap, the one that stands out as the brightest is that of his achievement of being the Personal Chef to Mr Nelson Mandela, on his journey from Durban to Cape Town.

Also read: The real-life great gatsby: Johnny Roxburgh


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