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Vineet Bhatia

Vineet Bhatia - britishheritage.org

Vineet Bhatia is an Indian chef, restaurateur, author, and media personality. He was the first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star. He 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 Bhatia the first and only Indian chef to receive two Michelin stars. Currently, he has eleven restaurants, including his signature restaurant "KAMA by Vineet" in the dining hall in Harrods in London, and appears as a judge on Netflix show The Final Table and judge-host on MasterChef India. He has written two cookbooks, Rasoi: New Indian Kitchen and My Sweet Kitchen.

In 2021, Vineet was appointed as culinary Ambassador for GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign.

Early life

Born in 1967, Vineet Bhatia grew up in Mumbai. He had early ambitions of becoming a pilot since a young age, growing up with daily sounds of planes flying into the nearby Juhu Airport. At the age of 17, having passed the National Defence Exam to join the Air Force he failed to do the same with the required physical test. After this failure Bhatia turned to cooking, inspired by his mother's passion for it.

Career

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

He moved to London in 1993, taking on the position of Executive Chef at Star of India, South Kensington. Restaurant critic Fay Maschler of the Evening Standard wrote of him at the time, “Bhatia has lifted the cooking into a new league; providing convincing proof that Indian food is capable of evolving”.

In 1998 he and Iqbal Wahhab opened Cinnamon Club, before heading up the kitchen at "Vineet Bhatia" in Hammersmith the following year. AA Gill wrote: "It's shaming to point out, but if Bhatia cooked in the French or Italian vernacular, or came from New York, he would be hailed as a superchef".

Bhatia went on to establish Zaika in 1999, and in 2001 became 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, and in 2006 it was awarded 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 the only Indian 2-star Michelin chef, and one of the few British chefs to have Michelin Stars in more than one country.

He opened his restaurant Saffron Lounge in Doha, Qatar, in 2012, alongside his established restaurant in Dubai, Indego. In 2015 he opened his first restaurant in Saudi Arabia, "Maharaja by Vineet" in the Mövenpick Hotel Al Khobar, Riyadh. After two years of operation, Maharaja was awarded the best Indian restaurant at the Food & Travel Arabia awards.

In late 2016, Bhatia re-modelled his original restaurant Rasoi in Chelsea, launching Vineet Bhatia London, or VBL for short. Bhatia's plan for VBL was to offer only a multi-course tasting menu. In October 2017, it was awarded a Michelin Star. However, following a disagreement with his partners at VBL, Bhatia decided to close the restaurant and re-focus his efforts elsewhere.

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

In the same year, it was also announced that Bhatia would be joining the 6th edition of MasterChef India as Judge Host.

In 2021, Vineet was appointed as culinary Ambassador for GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign.

Books

Bhatia has written two cookbooks:


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The BritishHeritage.org seeks to recognize individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and whose actions, in addition to their achievements, embody the character of the British people through commitment to British values, the British community and/or to Great Britain. Beyond demonstrated qualities of achievement and commitment, the BritishHeritage.org serves to recognize the British Heritage contribution to the betterment of mankind.

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