Vivek Singh spurned family expectations to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an engineer, surprising them instead by announcing he wanted to become a chef. After graduating from catering college, Vivek joined the Oberoi Hotel Group as a specialist in Indian cuisine. He first worked at their flight kitchens in Mumbai where 2,000 meals were produced everyday for various airlines. He then moved on to the Grand Hotel in Calcutta where he was fast-tracked to become the Indian chef of Oberoi’s flagship Rajvilas in Jaipur. Rajvilas was voted as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world by Tatler in 2001.
From an early age, Vivek had been reading Escoffier and later devoured books by Marco Pierre White and Charlie Trotter. When Iqbal Wahhab, the co-founder of The Cinnamon Club, talked to him about how he saw Indian flavours and western culinary styles being married, Vivek was already on the same page. Since first opening its doors in 2001 at the old Westminster Library, The Cinnamon Club has been redefining the expectations of Indian cooking. Vivekliberated Indian food from its straitjacket of tradition and crafted a brilliant marriage between Indian spicing and western culinary styles.
Vivek is also a cookbook author.
Describe your culinary philosophy in four words...
Push boundaries, rewrite rule-book.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Memories, journeys, seasons, stories.
If you could take a plan ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
Tetsuya (Wakuda)'s restaurant, a stunning Japanese restaurant in Sydney Australia .
What four things would you take to a desert island?
Rakesh Nairs Kerala spice mix for fish, Bengali gondhoraj lemons, my trusty filtering knive I've had for 20 years, mortar and pestle.
- #84 | National Restaurant Awards, 2010
- Best Newcomer | British Curry Awards, 2011
The Old Westminster Library
30-32 Great Smith St