Chef Profile: Vivek Singh
PUBLISHED: 17:48 24 October 2012 | UPDATED: 13:47 25 March 2015
Read more about Vivek Singh, a regular on Saturday Kitchen, Masterchef and Market Kitchen...
Vivek Singh, Executive Chef & CEO The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen & Cinnamon Soho
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 an Indian cuisine specialist. He first worked at the Oberoi flight kitchens in Mumbai, where 2000 meals were produced everyday for various airlines, before moving to the Grand Hotel in Calcutta. By just 26, Vivek had been fast-tracked to become the Indian chef of the Oberoi’s flagship Rajvilas, in Jaipur, voted as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world by Tatler.
From an early age, Vivek had been reading Escoffier and later devoured books by Marco Pierre White and Charlie Trotter during his time at Rajvilas. 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. Vivek has liberated Indian food from its straitjacket of tradition and crafted a brilliant marriage between Indian spicing and western culinary styles.
Vivek authored The Cinnamon Club cookbook to wide acclaim in 2003 and The Cinnamon Club Seafood Cookbook in 2006. He is widely believed to be one of the most articulate Indian chefs of his generation, making a plethora of TV and radio appearances.
2008 saw the launch of Vivek’s third cookbook, Curry: Classic and Contemporary, coinciding with the opening of his second restaurant, Cinnamon Kitchen. Located in the City’s redeveloped Devonshire Square, Cinnamon Kitchen and its capacious bar, Anise, is host to London’s only tandoor bar and grill.
March 2011 marked the first decade of The Cinnamon Club, with the restaurant serving its millionth customer. The restaurant is certainly now established as a key part of the London restaurant scene and recognised as a key influence on the evolution of Indian food.
2012 hasn’t been any less busy for Vivek, having launched his third restaurant, Cinnamon Soho, in March, and working towards the launch of his fourth cookbook, Cinnamon Kitchen The Cookbook, this November.
Vivek continues to be a regular on Saturday Kitchen, Masterchef and Market Kitchen.