New Delhi: He hosts the hugely popular Turban Tadka and Desh da Swad TV shows, owns two restaurant brands that he has franchised across four locations in the country, incorporates Ayurvedic concepts into his recipes and has authored two books. Now, celebrity Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi is going for the big one: Five new eateries with a $15-20 million infusion by a leading F&B franchise management company.
"As a celebrity chef I already own restaurant brands that I have franchised across four locations. Early this year, Yellow Tie Hospitality contacted us to create menus for their new venture that they were launching called Genuine Broaster Chicken, an American equipment manufacturing company that also extends solutions for restaurant menus," the Kharagpur-born Sokhi, who is based in Mumbai, told IANS in an email interview.
His company created the menus and he also became the brand ambassador for the restaurant chain.
"In due course, as synergies matched, we thought of taking the relationship further and growing my already existing brands in association with Yellow Tie. We also looked at creating new quirky QSR concepts for today's youth and so two new concepts were created to complete the basket of offerings," Sokhi explained.
"Cooking has always been a passion of mine. I have always enjoyed creating new and innovative dishes using familiar ingredients to present Indian cuisine with a refreshing twist, something Indian customers always enjoy. Thus, with the launch of my new restaurants, I aim to give customers across India a unique dining experience, which they will savour for a long time," he added.
How did he devise the menus for the new restaurants?
"The menus and food offerings for all are different as we position them in various segments. They vary from street food to North Indian food in Twist of Tadka, BBjaan offers Nizami, Awadhi and new age Indian food, Chika Chika offers desi Chinese and Dhadoom offers fries and more," Sokhi said.
He's also researched on how ayurveda can enhance the value of food.
"Ayurveda, as we all know, is a way of life. I only incorporate principles of the same in my cooking. I wish to share the knowledge on an everyday basis with all my viewers, followers so that they benefit from what ayurveda can offer. In fact, if we all look at our home kitchens, our mothers follow principles of ayurveda, offering specific foods in specific seasons," Sokhi explained.
"We also have incorporated the principles of ayurveda and created mirchi ka halwa... so after any rich exotic food that you have in my restaurant, three to four spoons of mirchi ka halwa can act as a great digestive. It also helps in clearing up your cyanosis. So, if there is an opportunity where my food and philosophies can benefit the people, yes, I will promote and share it," he added.
Sokhi already has two books under his belt: The Royal Hyderabadi Cooking co-authored with Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, containing recipes that he learnt under the legendary Begum Mumtaz Khan, and "Everyday Exotic Cookbook", exotic recipes that can be created in one's own kitchen with regular ingredients.
What next? "I think books are a great tool for recipes but as the market is evolving, digital is taking over. We are coming up with an 'Everyday Tadka Cookbook' series," Sokhi said.