Sanjeev Kapoor is an Indian celebrity chef, entrepreneur and author. He is well known for his cooking shows like MasterChef India (2010), Khana Khazana (1993) and Sanjeev Kapoor Ke Kitchen Khiladi (2013).
Sanjeev Kapoor was born on Friday, 10 April 1964 (age 58 years; as of 2022) in Ambala, Haryana, India. His zodiac sign is Aries. Sanjeev completed his schooling till the 4th standard at St. Thomas School. For 5th to 7th standard, Sanjeev went to Kendriya Vidyalaya, Punjab Regimental Centre in Meerut Kent. He completed his 8th standard from St Marry’s Academy in Saharanpur. From 9th to 12th standard, Sanjeev went to Government Senior Secondary Boys School in Rajauri Garden, New Delhi. Sanjeev completed his Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Pusa, New Delhi and graduated in 1984.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): 38-32-12
Parents & Siblings
Sanjeev Kapoor father’s name is Surinder Kapoor who was an employee of the State Bank of India.
His mother’s name is Urmila Kapoor.
Sanjeev has a brother, Rajeev Kapoor who is a chartered accountant and a sister, Namrata Kapoor.
Wife & Children
Sanjeev Kapoor is married to Alyona Kapoor.
They dated for around four years and then got married on October 5, 1992.
She is an amazing chef and Sanjeev’s partner in Sanjeev Kapoor Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. In an interview, she said,
We met through my elder sister. Sanjeev and she were working together. I got to know him as my sister’s friend. She too was a chef and was posted to ITDC, Varanasi. On one of my trips to meet her, Sanjeev and me travelled together. Slowly we got to know each other better. We started to meet more often and then finally after our courtship of 4 years, we tied knot.”
Sanjeev has two daughters, Rachita Kapoor and Kriti Kapoor.
Rachita has studied Law and Kriti is a National level athlete( sprinter) who has studied Math and Statistics.
In 1982, Sanjeev started his career as a management trainee at India Tourism Development Corporation(ITDC).
He was posted as a trainee in ‘Hotel Varanasi Ashok’ and got promoted to Chef by the General Manager of the hotel in a span of two months.
He serviced there for 6 years. In 1989, Sanjeev moved to New Zealand for two years where he was the Chief Chef at ‘Zanzibar’, which is New Zealand’s first African restaurant, and later at ‘Shamiana’ in Wellington.
Later, he joined ITDC Hotel Samrat in Delhi and served there for a period of 7-8 months. Sanjeev shifted to Mumbai and joined Centaur group of hotels and served there for around 5 years as the Head Chef.
In an interview, he said,
Head chef was the highest benchmark, so naturally, I wanted to get it as early as possible. I was shocked and it was definitely a cause of worry because I had peaked so early, but I never ran out of options to explore”.
While working at Centaur Hotel in Mumbai, Sanjeev was approached to host the cookery show Khana Khazana on the channel Zee TV. The show was launched in 1993 and the last episode aired on 8 September 2012.
Khana Khazana is the longest running cookery show in Asia which ran for around 18 years with a collective viewership of over 500 million. In an interview, when Sanjeev was asked about his experience of hosting a show, he said,
“I do not act, I just cook and the cameras just happen to be there. I keep the audience, who is looking for a simple way to make the most exotic dishes, as my target. That understanding has to be there to gauge attention in a world where people’s attention span is barely 30 seconds. I take my time to cook instead of rushing,” he says.
In 2012, Sanjeev participated as a contestant in Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa Season 5 with choreographer Nicole Alvares.
In 2013, Sanjeev Kapoor launched a cooking reality show, “Sanjeev Kapoor Ke Kitchen Khiladi”, in which he was seen as chief judge and host of the show. Sanjeev appeared as a judge in the show Masterchef India season 3(2013) and season 4(2015).
In 1995, Sanjeev Kapoor established his own company Khana Khazana India Pvt Ltd. In 1998, Sanjeev unveiled his first restaurant “Khazana” in Dubai.
In 2010, Sanjeev launched another venture ‘Sanjeev Kapoor Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. (SKRPL)’, a chain of restaurants which has launched various restaurant brands like The Yellow Chilli, Hong Kong, Signature, Options, Sura Vie, Jimmy Hu, The Brooklyn Shuffle, Grain of Salt, India Green and Gold Leaf Banquets. Currently, Sanjeev Kapoor Restaurants has made its presence in 10 countries: India, The USA, The UK, Canada, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tanzania.
Sanjeev Kapoor is the writer of top cookbooks and has published around 150+ books in multiple languages mainly English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. His books have sold an estimated 10 million copies. His most popular book is “How to Cook Indian: More Than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen.”
In 2017, ‘Tinychef’, a cooking and meal planner was launched which is co-founded by Sanjeev Kapoor. It offers its users over 20,000 healthy food recipes. The app provides a feature where one can cook meals with voice guidance on smartphones and smart speakers. Tinychef has over 100,000 active monthly users in India. . In 2020, he launched ‘Cooking Empire: Sanjeev Kapoor Made In India Game app’, which is a free game app to learn and cook new recipes under the mentorship of Sanjeev Kapoor.
In 2009, Sanjeev Kapoor launched Wonderchef, a cookware brand, with Ravi Saxena, co-founder and former CEO of Sodexo India.
Wonderchef is a premium brand which deals in cookware, bakeware and kitchen appliances. In January 2011, Sanjeev Kapoor became the first chef to launch an Indian food and lifestyle channel “FoodFood.” He hosts a show titled ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen’ and ‘Cook Smart’ on the Food Food channel. The channel is also available in India, Mauritius, UAE, Qatar, USA and Canada. In 2020, Sanjeev Kapoor launched an online academy, ‘Sanjeevkapooracademy.com’ which is specifically designed to help aspiring cooking enthusiasts learn from the available courses on launching a food business or creating healthy and tasty meals from one’s own home. The academy has more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos and articles on cooking in both English and Hindi.
Sanjeev Kapoor has featured in various advertisements for popular brands like Wonderchef, Ariel, Tata I-Shakti Dal, ITC Nimwash, Daawat Rice and many more.
Trolled for experimental dish ‘Malabar Paneer’
Sanjeev Kapoor has been badly trolled with his experimental recipe ‘Malabar Paneer’. Malabar is a traditional cuisine of Kerala which is generally prepared out of chicken, beef or fish. The fusion of traditional Malabar cuisine with Paneer was not favoured by the people on social media and they slammed him for giving a north Indian twist to the dish. In an interview, he siad,
I was sad and disappointed over the unwanted controversy but I have not tried to defend myself amidst all the allegations because I know I have not done anything wrong. My father had once told me not to waste my energy in trying to pull people down.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 1993- The Mercury Gold Award at IFCA (Indian Federation of Culinary Associations), Geneva for Best Meal Concept and Creation.
- 1995- Best Executive Chef in India by Food Service, India.
- 2002, 2004 and 2010 – ITA Award For Best Cookery Show (Khana Khazana).
- 2006- Brand Leadership award at 5th Indira Awards for Marketing Excellence.
- 2008-National Award for Best Chef of the Year by the Government of India.
- 2015 – ITA Award for Popular Chef & Entrepreneur (Zaika-E-Hind).
- 2015- Most Celebrated Chef Of The Year award at Hozpitality Excellence Awards.
- 2017- Padma Shri award, the fourth highest Indian national honour for his contribution in uplifting Indian cuisine.
- In 2021, Sanjeev Kapoor was approached to be the guest of honour at Flavours of Punjab at Chandigarh
- 2017- Achieved the Guinness World Record by cooking 918 kg khichdi live at World Food India Event, New Delhi.
- 2017- Hall Of Fame Award by The Institute of Hotel Management.
- 2017- Times Chef of the Year Award by Times Food Awards.
Sanjeev Kapoor’s ventures are valued at over Rs 1,000 crore by his existing investors.
- Food(s): Mishti Doi, Biryani, Laksa, and Thai curry
- In 2010, Sanjeev Kapoor was listed at No. 31 in Reader’s Digest, an American general-interest family magazine in 100 of India’s Most Trusted persons.
- Sanjeev Kapoor was selected as one of the members on the board of Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel along with eight other chefs.
- Sanjeev Kapoor is famous for doing live food events and cooking demonstrations all across the globe.
- Sanjeev is also known as the ‘Rachel Ray of India’.
- In 2015, Sanjeev Kapoor was chosen to cook a royal vegetarian feast for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a dinner hosted by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
- The cooking show Khana Khazana, hosted by Sanjeev Kapoor was originally named Shriman Bawarchi.
- Sanjeev Kapoor, as a student of Pusa Institute, was a part of the catering and food service for about 6000 athletes in the Asian Games held in Delhi in 1982.
- Sanjeev Kapoor is the brand ambassador for Sweekar Advanced, a sunflower oil brand in India, Tata i-Shakti Dals, Dalda Vanaspati, Washington Apples, and Leonardo Olive Oil.
- Sanjeev has been actively supporting and raising funds for the NGO, “Forum for Autism”. He also employs persons with autism in his company in order to support them and their families.
- In the first episode of Khana Khazaana, Sanjeev cooked two dishes, Shaam Savera and chicken breast stuffed with saffron cream cheese.
- Apart from cooking, Sanjeev Kapoor has a special interest in music too. He loves to play drum or guitar and often shares his video on social media.
- Harvard Business School has devoted a case study to the chef, Sanjeev Kapoor.
- In New York Times, Sanjeev’s book “How to Cook Indian” was recognised as the ‘Summer Cookbooks of the year 2011’.
- Sanjeev Kapoor was selected as one of the top five Celebrity Chefs in the world along with Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Olivier and Wolf Gang Puck by Richard Quest and featured them in his programme “Quest” on CNN channel.
- Sanjeev Kapoor has featured twice(2009 and 2011) on the American TV show, The Rachael Ray Show. He launched his book, “How to Cook Indian” on her show.
- Sanjeev Kapoor was appointed as the Indian Ambassador of the Clean Cookstoves Campaign, by The United Nations (UN) which aims at uplifting the underprivileged in developing countries.
- Sanjeev Kapoor inaugurated the Symbiosis School of Culinary Arts and is the chair professor of the institute.
- In 2015, Sanjeev represented India as a Food Ambassador under the Spanish government’s Indian Future Leaders Programme (IFLP).
- Sanjeev Kapoor was one of the chief speakers at the “Worlds of Flavour”, an international conference and festival organized by the Culinary Institute of America at Graystone, California.
- In 2016, Sanjeev Kapoor was chosen to create a special menu exclusively for the students of all the 598 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) across the country.
- Sanjeev has a huge fan following on social media. He has 1.2M followers on Instagram, 8.7M followers on Facebook and 2.1M followers on Twitter.
- Sanjeev Kapoor has a YouTube channel, titled ‘Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana’ where he posts various recipes; the channel has more than 7M subscribers.