Praveen Yadav | May 30, 2021 | 0
Kapil Verma – Indian Chef & Host
Kapil verma started his career as an engineer with Wipro Technologies. The passion for drama got him into theatre in Delhi. He has been a part of around 25 stage plays in Hindi, Urdu, Gibberish and English languages. His first acting project on Television: O Gujariya aired on Channel V and available on Hotstar, where he played a negative character named Junaid.
He has done 100s of modelling assignments including Concept shoots for Images Bazaar PVT. LTD, Delhi. He ventured into the profession of chef in the year 2017 with his YouTube Channel – Kapil Ka kitchen. He has done around 200 videos on YouTube Channel “ Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana “ in Punjabi, Hindi and English languages. The association with Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana started 2 years back with Punjabi Show named – SANJHA CHULHA. With many recipe Videos viewed by millions of viewers, there is one particular recipe which garnered a lot of love and appreciation which is – PROTEIN SALAD. The Recipe is watched by nearly 20 million people so far and it continues to be a viewer’s choice. He was rewarded for the same by MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor. With intend of creating unique content and being part of interesting projects, the path continues.
Here is Kapil in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) How did your journey as a theatre artist begin?
“Best moments happen when they are unplanned “, this saying fits the bill. Everything happened unplanned. Actually, it so happened, I was at Saket Mall, Delhi for a weekend outing. There I noticed a huge hoarding announcing Weekend Acting Classes by Barry John Acting Studio. Somehow it caught my attention. I went ahead and enquired at the registration desk. Mind You! Till then joining “Acting Classes” was not on my mind. But like I said earlier, intuitively, I ended up joining the classes and gladly so..!
Following that theatre, which was again an alien thing for me, too, just happened organically. It so happened, when I shared this news of joining acting classes with one of my friends, he told me I should do theatre if I am serious about Acting. He, in fact, gave me a number of his colleague’s husband who is a theatre director. I contacted him with all excitement but somehow he kept me waiting for almost a week. I don’t know whether he was testing me or what! But finally, he picked up my call and asked me to meet him the next morning at famous ” Coffee Home” ( a hub for meetings, an adda in Connaught Place, Delhi). That was my first office bunk. Next morning with all nervousness and excitement, I met the Director. He shared his latest play’s theme with me. And I felt different and quite like an actor if I may say so though I had no idea what was coming next. Another week passed and he called me to meet him in front of same Coffee Home at night. I came running after my office hours ended. We sat on a pavement under the sky with flickering of a street light above. And that set the mood for my first ever script reading test. I read the first line, after that, I don’t remember what I read and how! But he stopped me once and asked me to repeat after him. After I repeated the lines the same way he showed to me, he nodded and said – “ Babu , time kam hai . Bahot Mehnat karni padegi . Magar ho jayega “.
That’s how rehearsals for my first stage play began just within a week of joining acting classes at Barry John. My first production was an Urdu play for Urdu Theatre Festival organised by Urdu Academy – “Daak Ghar “by Rabindranath Tagore staged in Ansari Auditorium, Jamia Milia Islamic University.
2) When did you start acting and how did it effect your career as an engineer?
I started acting journey with Theatre. Alumni of NSD, Delhi had theatre groups and I am lucky to have joined those groups and learnt a lot. But everyone knows that theatre has no money. So passion was fine but practically I felt I had to continue with my engineering Job as well. And I was pretty clear about it. However, things never go planned in my case and the time required for theatre rehearsals was such that it made me lie in office almost every day. I tried to manage both but then came a point when I had to pick n choose one and finally, I can proudly say that I chose passion over money. This decision of mine showed me pretty tough times but if there is something which kept me going was the New passion and motive for life which was acting.
3) Which is your favorite project of all time?
There is no fav project as such. As I gave my everything to each and every work that was offered to me. But yaa, I do know that the best is yet to come. And I feel my craft is yet unexplored. So, keeping my fingers crossed.
4) How and when did you venture into the profession of culinary?
Culinary! It is a serious word which comes with a lot of weight and responsibility. Now I know this. But when I thought of venturing into the field, I had no clue. It happened like this, one fine day, My friend-flatmate Roshan and I thought of making Recipe video and start a YouTube channel. So, with the phone and basic things, I decided to shoot a trial video of making Chai. And I hated that video and deleted it. The idea of launching a recipe channel was out of the window immediately for me. But my friend was very persuasive. So, after contemplating further for around 6 months, I finally gave it another go. This time, I was all alone coz I asked my friend to go out for few hours. I guess I was too unsure even then. But, somehow I made a video of “ Dates Pie “ and showed clippings to my friend and he liked those. And my YouTube Channel “ Kapil Ka Kitchen “ was born.
5) Tell us something about the show SANJHA CHULHA?
Sanjha Chulha is a show about Punjabi Food. This show is very close to my heart because it is my first show with “Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana “. I felt extremely proud and happy about cooking under the name of greatest Indian Chef ever, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. In this show, I share my stories and experiences along with the Punjabi recipes. It has taught me so much and I am grateful for this opportunity.
6) What is the process behind creating content for your YouTube channel Kapil ka kitchen?
While creating Recipes for my YouTube Channel, my process is very simple and straightforward. I cook what I want to eat and the way I want to eat. Never pretend and always cook with love – are the two things which resonate with viewers. And I strictly follow these thumb rules and avoid falling into the fancy trap of food jargon.
7) Tell us about your favorite recipe.
My favourite Recipe is – Amritsari Choley. Being Punjabi, my affinity for chole Bhature is inevitable. But my love for Choley especially Amritsari Choley is like next level of food-love. Perhaps, this is the reason that prompted Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna share my recipe of Amritsari Choley on his Twitter handle. This is indeed the happiest memory of my life so far. I am lucky enough to have met him later and expressed my love and gratitude.
8) What is the sole purpose that keeps you motivated to create new recipes every day?
My motivation comes from the grandeur, depth and diversity of our Indian cuisine which is complex, original and sometimes inspired too which is rare and unique. There is so much to offer when it comes to our desi food! Even if I keep cooking one dish a day all my life, few will still remain unexplored. And this motivates me to cook Original classics and inspired dishes, both. After all, Cooking is all about a personal touch and must have some unique element of the cook.
9) What advice would you give to the aspiring chefs?
These days, everybody is self enriched with enough knowledge through various mediums be it online or books or schools in any area of interest. I consider myself a student and learning should never stop according to me. My only advice from my experience is: Follow your instincts and be consistent. Never try to impress, leave it on your work – do it honestly and see the magic!
10) Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
As I have never planned anything in my life, hence to predict it now would be unfair to my journey so far. I would like to keep working and improving. This is in sync with the Mother Nature and I believe that’s how the attitude and approach towards it should be like.
11) How’s life in quarantine?
Quarantine – well, I, like many, learnt this word during Lockdown only. My life has been busy. I have been cooking at home. Making videos for my channel. Practising new techniques and mastering few after dozens of failures and successes. To say that I remain unaffected by all the negativity during Quarantine won’t be true. Of course, you do feel low at times, but to get on with it and channelising those energies with something great in your work is the right way to deal with it.
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