Vivek Singh (chef)

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Vivek Singh
Executive Chef & CEO Vivek Singh.jpg
Born (1971-05-06) 6 May 1971 (age 47)
Asansol, West Bengal, India
Education Institute of Hotel Management, New Delhi
Spouse(s) Archana Singh
Culinary career
Cooking style Indian cuisine
Website viveksingh.co.uk

Vivek Singh (born 6 May 1971) is an Indian British celebrity chef, restaurateur, and media personality known for his innovative take on Indian cuisine. He is the CEO and Executive Chef of four London based modern-Indian restaurants and one Oxford based modern-Indian restaurant. He started in London with his flagship restaurant The Cinnamon Club, then he opened Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho and Cinnamon Bazaar. The latest addition to the Cinnamon Collection is Cinnamon Kitchen Oxford, Vivek's first UK restaurant outside of London. Singh is a regular face on BBC's Saturday Kitchen,[1] and has been featured on television shows including Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation,[2] At Home with Rachel Allen[3], NDTV Good Times – Will Travel for Food and My Kitchen Rules UK.


Early life[edit]

Singh grew up in a coal-mining community in Bengal where his father worked as an engineer. He attended a Christian Brothers school in Asansol called St. Patrick's Higher Secondary School. Like most traditional Indian families, it was expected that Singh would follow in his father's footsteps and go on to become an engineer. Instead he announced that he wanted to become a chef.[4]

Career[edit]

Singh went to catering college at The Institute of Hotel Management in New Delhi from 1990–1993 and was selected to join the Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development that year. In 1995, having completed three years of training at The Oberoi, The Oberoi Maidens and the Delhi Oberoi flight services, Singh was offered the job of running the kitchen at The Oberoi flight services in Mumbai.Following this, Singh joined the five-star Oberoi Grand in Kolkata.[5] In 1997, Singh took over the running of Gharana, an Indian restaurant specialising in the cuisine of India's Royal Courts. The following year, he became the Indian chef at RajVilas in Jaipur. Singh met PR guru Iqbal Wahhab, at a wedding reception at Rajvilas hotel and talked about Indian food using French cooking methods.[6] They opened their first flagship restaurant, The Cinnamon Club, in London in March 2001. On 21 January 2015, Singh received an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick for his contribution to the development of Indian cuisine in the United Kingdom.[7][8]

Cookbooks[edit]

Restaurants[edit]

Modern Indian dish prepared at London based Indian restaurant- The Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club – In 2001, Singh opened his first Indian restaurant The Cinnamon Club in London. The Cinnamon Club is awarded one of the "Best Indian restaurants"[9] by squaremeal food guide in London, UK.

Now converted into a Modern Indian restaurant on 30 Great Smith Street, London SW1P3BU

Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise – Food critic and writer Fay Maschler called Vivek Singh "a gifted cook creating striking and exciting dishes" when he opened his second restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise in 2008.[10]

Cinnamon Soho – In 2012, Singh opened his third restaurant, Cinnamon Soho, and published his fourth cookery book, Cinnamon Kitchen: The Cookbook. "Singh is a master of flavour" & "highly innovative", said Guy Dimond, food critic at Time Out.[11]

Cinnamon Bazaar – This restaurant inspired by the hustle and bustle of bazaars in antiquity and of modern days opened in 2016 in Covent Garden. In 2017 it gained a Bib Gourmand from Michelin for its high-quality but affordable food [12].

Afternoon tea by Vivek Singh

Cinnamon Kitchen Oxford – In 2017 this fifth restaurant part of the Cinnamon Collection opened its doors. This is Singh's first restaurant in the UK that is located outside of London.

Created by Indian Chef Vivek Singh at Cinnamon Soho, the third official restaurant under Cinnamon venture.

Public appearances[edit]

  1. In 2006, Singh was invited to Hangar 7 in Salzburg, Austria. Singh is the only Indian chef to be invited to Hangar 7, where he worked side by side with Chef Eckart Witzigmann and Roland Trettl.[13]
  2. In 2007, Singh helped recreate an Indian-inspired sausage based on Daljit Singh's childhood memories.[14]
  3. In 2011, Singh was invited to Gourmet Abu Dhabi to showcase modern Indian cuisine.[15]
  4. In 2011, Singh was listed invited as a guest speaker on Maharaja Express "A passage through India" with Allan Jenkins.[16]
  5. In 2012 Singh was invited to New York City for a week-long pop-up event at Desmond's NYC.[17]
  6. In 2013 Singh was on the munchbox with Rachel Gabriells and Agni (the best team)
  7. In 2014 Singh interviewed by Fine Dining TV to talk about recreating restaurant dishes at home

Charity work[edit]

In 2008, Singh became an ambassador for a rugby charity, Wooden Spoon that offers help disadvantaged children. Singh raised funds with former rugby union stars Jason Leonard, Martin Offiah, Lee Mears and Nick Easter, through an event called Scrum Dine With Me.[18]

Singh has worked with Action Against Hunger since 2002, and for the past four years has been hosting an annual Diwali Charity Event in their aid.[19] He is also supports Find Your Feet and helps out with yearly campaigns to raise awareness through Curry for Change campaign.[20] Singh works with The Prince's Trust charity, Mosaic Network,[21] that aims to inspire young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential. Other charities include, the Asian Restaurants Skills Board that aims to attract new talent to the Indian restaurant sector through college courses, work experience placements and apprenticeships.[22]

Controversy[edit]

In 2008, Singh was approached by Virgin Media to create the world's hottest dish to commemorate the launch of their Bollywood movies channel. Singh's entry caused quite a controversy as several curry house owners claimed that their curry was "the hottest". Singh responded by saying that although his dish made it into the Guinness book of world records,[23] there is no real way to measure whose curry is the hottest as it depends on the taste buds of the individual eating it. The dish became known as The Bollywood Burner,[24] and is possibly the most famous dish 'never' to be on a menu. Jonathan Ross tried the fiery dish on his Friday night show in July 2008. Steve Carell and a host of British stars also attempted to taste the dish.

Personal life[edit]

In May 1997, Singh married Archana in Bilaspur, India. They have two children together, Eshaan born in October 2001 and Maya born in July 2006. Singh lives with his wife and two children in South London.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, James. "Vivek Singh on BBC Saturday Kitchen". Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Blundell, Graeme. "The True Spice Girl takes a British tour". The Australian. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Vivek Singh cooking at home with Rachel Allen". Radio Times. 
  4. ^ "Vivek Singh Biography". Squaremeal.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. 
  5. ^ "About Chef Vivek Singh". Redhotcurry News. 
  6. ^ "A creative use of spice". The Daily Telegraph. 
  7. ^ http://www.cinnamon-kitchen.com/news/pressrelease/chefviveksingh-recieves-honorary-degree-2015
  8. ^ http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/ballet_opera_tv/
  9. ^ "Best Indian restaurants in London". Squaremeal.co.uk. 
  10. ^ Maschler, Fay. "Evening Standard restaurant review of Cinnamon Kitchen". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  11. ^ Dimond, Guy. "Food review of Vivek's cooking at Cinnamon Soho". Time Out. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Cinnamon Bazaar received a Bib Gourmand from Michelin". London Evening Standard. 29 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "Culinary Trip" (PDF). interspot.at. 
  14. ^ "Britains first spicy Bangras 'Gourmet Sausages'et". 
  15. ^ "Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2011". Rotana Times. 
  16. ^ Jenkins, Allan. "A passage through India on Maharaja Express". The Observer. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Vivek goes to NewYork in 2012". H2G Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Scrum Dine With Me". Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  19. ^ "Vivek Singh supports Action Against Hunger Charity". Slowfood.org.uk. 
  20. ^ "Curry for change by Find Your Feet Charity". Mood Food. 
  21. ^ "Prince's Seeing is Believing with Prince Charles". Retrieved January 2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  22. ^ "Asian Restaurant Skills Board with Eric Pickles". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  23. ^ "World's Hottest Curry in Guinness Book of World Records". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 July 2008. 
  24. ^ "Curry Hell to rival the Bollywood Burner". The South Asian Times. 

External links[edit]