Cooking with a chef has never been easier
Picture this: you prepare succulent mutton curry and aromatic rice, cook with a professional chef who has traveled the world, listening to stories of his travels and experiences as you chop, stir and sauté. And you do it all from the comfort of your home kitchen. That’s the unique charm of Airbnb’s online experiences – it lets you learn from the best in the business, without having to leave your home.
In a virtual kitchen with celebrity chef and TV host Vicky Ratnani, it’s food that brings us all together. “Food is one thing that connects us all,” Ratnani says. “Food has always made me travel. I have traveled around the world seven times. He refers to the many world cruises he took after securing a royal appointment aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, where he first had the opportunity to learn about global culinary traditions. The session he hosted was part of Airbnb’s “Bollywood Insiders” series, which features exclusive interactive sessions with hosts who are experts in the fields of acting, directing, fitness, performance. food, styling and more.
For his first session, Chef Ratnani chooses his special Sindhi mutton curry with Bhuggal chawal, dishes close to his heart, given his Sindhi heritage. As he cooks, you can hear the slow sizzle of caramelized onions and the crackle of whole spices as they hit the pan. Before the session, participants were given a list of ingredients, in case they wanted to cook with Chef Ratnani. Even if you don’t, you could almost smell the freshly steamed rice and smell the mutton curry when it opens the pressure cooker. As the session progresses, the conversations also progress – about the origin of each of its ingredients, why the dish meant something to Chef Ratnani and what it was like for him to cook for the biggest names. from Bollywood. As he prepares the final dish, he explains his love for Sindhi food. “I grew up eating Sindhi food, but I never cooked enough Sindhi food.” It was this realization that inspired his new food delivery service in Mumbai, The Speakeasy Kitchen. And it was this dish that he first prepared and sent to his Bollywood friends Farhan Akhtar, Saif Ali Khan and Malaika Arora when he thought about the concept.
At the end of cooking, just in time for dinner, participants turn their cameras to show Chef Ratnani their food, explaining how excited they are to dig. There is a camaraderie between strangers here – between a professional chef and people from different cities, coming together to cook something for the first time through their computer screens.