About Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Padma Shri Awardee: Chef Sanjeev Kapoor - Culinary Icon, Humanitarian, and Entrepreneur

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, a Padma Shri Awardee and a humanitarian at heart, is renowned globally as a culinary icon. Every child and adult from the 90s would have watched his path-breaking, longest-running cookery show in Asia, 'Khana Khazana'. With his constant smile while cooking and his famous dialogue 'Namak Swad Anusar', Chef Sanjeev Kapoor soon became everyone’s favourite chef and household name. Coming from a family of foodies, the Master Chef is a gastronome himself who enjoys Indian cuisine the most, especially when cooked at home with oodles of love.

Suave and charming, Chef Kapoor has captivated millions of hearts over the years, including men, women, children, housewives, professionals, mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, and absolute novices. He continues to do so through his easy demeanour, cheerful commentary, and simple instructions that make the most seemingly tricky dishes look easy to prepare. As an entrepreneur, Chef Kapoor has not only excelled in the culinary world but also in empowering aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts through his numerous ventures. His entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his diverse range of culinary endeavours, from restaurants and catering services to food products and kitchen appliances. For a nation that loves to eat and cook, Sanjeev Kapoor is very close to its people’s hearts. He is the go-to chef for everything from a party at home to a "what-to-make-today" situation or teaching how to deal with an excess amount of paneer. His charm and the accessibility of his recipes have cut across the language barrier as he empowers his fans through his 200+ best-selling cookbooks available in 7 different languages.

Needless to say, Chef Kapoor’s name tops the list of the most cherished and trusted faces on TV. He has figured in the Reader’s Digest list of 100 of India’s Most Trusted people. He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2017 by the President of India, one of India’s highest civilian awards. His popularity and contribution to Indian cuisine have been recognized by the Government of India too, who conferred on him the National award of ‘Best Chef of India’. He is also on the board of the Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel along with the brightest names from the culinary world across the global culinary capitals. He divides his time between India and abroad by doing live food events and cooking demonstrations, for which he is always in great demand. A confessed gadget freak, Sanjeev channelled his love for technology to create ‘Wonderchef’, a premier cookware and kitchen appliances brand that brought about a revolution to the Indian kitchen through its innovative products and continues to do so. In addition to Wonderchef, he is also the co-founder of Tiny Chef, a company working on culinary AI and ML, and well has launched his online academy,


Records and Honours

In addition to his achievements on his home ground, he has won accolades and honours abroad too, not to mention the many firsts he has in his kitty. He was the first chef in the world to launch his food channel, FoodFood. His earlier food show, Khana Khazana, ran for 18 years on a trot on the ZEE channel, a record that is yet to be broken. The show also won the Best Cookery Show award from the Indian Television Academy (ITA) and Indian Telly Awards, year after year. He was on the panel of Judges for Master Chef India Seasons 3 and 4. He served as the Chief Judge and host for ‘Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi’ on Sony Entertainment Television. His life story was featured on Star World as part of the exclusive series titled Achiever’s Club. He is also ranked 34th in the Forbes list of top 100 Indian celebrities. He has also cooked for many dignitaries, including the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He achieved the Guinness World Record by cooking 918 kg khichdi live at World Food India 2017, New Delhi. He is also one of the seven chefs in the world with a case study published on him by Harvard Business School.


On Foreign Shores

Often dubbed the Rachel Ray of India, he has been featured twice on American TV with her. The United Nations (UN) chose him as the Indian Ambassador for their Clean Cooking Alliance, which promotes the use of safe cooking fuels and stovetops in rural India. Under the Spanish government’s Indian Future Leaders Programme (IFLP), he represented India as a Food Ambassador. Another feather in his already colorful cap is the very interesting CNN project in Copenhagen, Denmark, in November 2011. He worked alongside Chef Rene Redzepi, owner of the number one restaurant in the world, Noma. Noma is known for its reinvention and reinterpretation of Nordic cuisine and ‘soul food.’ Sanjeev also represented India in 2012 at the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) in Daejon, South Korea, and initiated the ancient ways of Ayurvedic cooking to the world of chefs. His food label (Khana Khazana) was launched at the House of Commons in the UK by Mr Fabian Hamilton, MP, North East Leeds, Yorkshire. The event had the who’s who of the UK present. Sanjeev Kapoor was one of the chief speakers/presenters at the Worlds of Flavour, International conference, and festival organized by the Culinary Institute of America at Graystone, California.


Books and More Books

The most sought-after recipe books undoubtedly come from Sanjeev Kapoor’s stable. His books are bestsellers with more than 200 titles in 7 languages. The latest is ‘100 Mouthwatering Dishes.’ His book meant for an international audience, ‘How To Cook Indian,’ printed and published in the US and later in the UK, was launched in April 2011 to an overwhelming response and encouraging press. His ‘The Yellow Chilli Cookbook’ was awarded the Best International Cookbook at the 2012 International Book Awards, and his book on chocolates, ‘Aah! Chocolate,’ got the Gourmand Best Cookbook Photography award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 and the Best in the World award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2014 in Beijing.


Brands and Labels

Today, he is in demand for many brands as a brand ambassador for their products. Currently, he is endorsing brands like Ariel, Zydus Cadila’s Sugar-Free, Nutralite, Daawat Basmati Rice, Tata Sampann Dals, and Masalas. As a restaurateur, he has granted his franchise to several restaurants both in India and abroad. Khazana and The Yellow Chilli are popular names today, and now with his company SKR (Sanjeev Kapoor Restaurants), he is extending these brands by adding Signature, Sura Vie, Indi, and many more brands under different categories. The licensing and merchandising vertical SK Brands under the brand SANJEEV KAPOOR- Premium Houseware and Premium Kitchenware offers a range of products from steelware, glassware to ceramicware, and much more. In addition to the endorsement of brands, he is also engaged in collaborative ventures with brands such as Big Basket, Fast and Up’s Goodeatz, and ProV Foods.


Online Presence is Sanjeev Kapoor’s portal, which is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 15,000 tried and tested recipes and a wealth of food-related information. Not only is it popular among Indians but amongst NRIs as well. It has been awarded the title of the ‘Most Popular Website’ in the Website of the Year 2013 awards and ‘Best Website of the Year’ in 2014 and 2016. A fan page on Facebook started in 2009 has over 8.8 million fans and growing. Another popular initiative is sanjeevkapoorkhazana, a channel on YouTube; it has over 7.4 million subscribers and over 1.5 billion video views. His Twitter handle ‘@sanjeevkapoor’ is one of the most sought-after food handles with 2.1 million followers. His Instagram handle with over 1.8 million followers is a visual treat that will leave you salivating for more.


Giving Back to Society

Sanjeev Kapoor’s brand Wonderchef is a huge success, and the cherry on the sweet cake of success is the fact that it empowers many women, especially in the northern part of the country. The business model of the business enables women to become financially independent. Sanjeev also works closely with autistic children and has helped the cause by supporting the NGO “Forum for Autism” for over 12 years. Under Corporate Social Responsibility, he has taken on the challenge of improving/feeding school meals to children in remote villages and children from economically weak families. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor works very closely with Akshaya Patra – the world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal program that serves wholesome school lunches to over 1.8 million children in 14,702 schools across 12 states in India. Brand Sanjeev Kapoor, in collaboration with the HRD ministry, is also on board to structure and design a special menu exclusively for the students of all the 598 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) across the country. To develop qualified skills in his chosen field, he has started a college in collaboration with Symbiosis University, the first of its kind, by the name of Symbiosis School of Culinary Arts offering a 3-year full-time BSc degree in Culinary Arts. During the pandemic, he partnered with Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) and World Central Kitchen to provide nutritious meals to frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.