Jatin Khurana from the beautiful city of Ludhiana describes himself as a careless lazy person who was never serious in life until Masterchef India happened. Although being from a business class family, he decided not to join his dad’s business, did his masters and started a telecommunication and data solutions company but always loved cooking and here he is today running a very successful restaurant in Ludhiana.
Jatin was planning to go in the Season 4 of Masterchef India but since it was an all-veg season, he decided to try in the next season. By the next season, he was working and making a decent amount of money but then the love for food made him fill up the form and then there was no looking back for him.
He added, “I didn’t really prepare for the first round of auditions in Amritsar. I made authentic chicken tacos with refried beans, raw mango salsa and tortilla chips. In Delhi, for the mystery box, I made chicken roulade and a lichi relish. In Mumbai, I made burnt ginger rice and ginger mushroom chicken with orange ginger sauce and at last in Jodhpur, I made chicken dimsums, veg kung pao, jasmine rice and kimchi.”
Truly a Masterchef, let’s know more about the life and journey of Jatin Khurana in the interview down below.
In conversation with Chef Jatin Khurana :
1. The journey from becoming just Jatin to “Chef Jatin khurana” would have been a wonderful one for you! Share your experience.
I started off my academic career as a hotel management student, my family wasn’t really fond of this idea but still I had to do what I wanted to. I joined IHM Jaipur for BHMCT assuming that it’s going to be an exclusive culinary course which it wasn’t, I dropped out in the first semester only, I started with my B.Com followed by Diploma in Export management and then MBA. I was living a very comfortable life, the money was good, and I wasn’t working my ass off as well for that. At the age of 24, I was paying more tax than my father but I wasn’t really content with what I was doing and wasn’t happy. My life always revolved around food, then Master Chef happened and after that everything changed!
2. Jatin, you decided to go into the fourth season of Master chef India but knowing it was pure vegetarian you decided to step back. Why so?
Yes, I always wanted to go to master chef. According to me it’s the only platform for armature food enthusiasts and home cooks like me to showcase their talent. I was jobless when the 4th season started and I really wanted to audition for the same but when I came to know its all vegetarian I decided to step back. It’s not like I don’t cook vegetarian food. It’s just that I prefer non-vegetarian over vegetarian and that was the only reason I skipped the 4th season.
3. Belonging to a family of businessmen you were destined to become one but you decided to switch your profession towards cooking. Who inspired you?
Now that’s a tricky question. I’ll tell you about my family starting from my grandmother, she is a self-made lady, started the first kindergarten in Punjab back in 1969 and supported the family financially. My dad started working in the pharmaceutical industry, starting from Retain to setting up his own company. He didn’t take any support from Dadi Ma and Dadu. My sister is a software engineer and is currently working in Google In Mountain View, California and yes she is quite a genius 😀
So, yes let’s come back to the initial question, being from a business class family. Seeing the whole history and all you guys can make out that my family is very supportive when it comes to choosing professions. And about my food inspiration, isn’t that obvious? It all came from mommy dearest!! And trust me when I say this, she is the best cook I have come across in my life and I know no one can beat the food that she cooks.
Also read Winner of MasterChef India Season 5 : Kirti Bhoutika – The Food & Nutrition Expert Who Counts Memories and Not Calories !
4. Being a Punjabi guy you have always been surrounded by food. What is your favorite cuisine and whose cooking do you like the most?
Well I am a big fan of Punjabi and North Indian food, but then when I say my life revolves around food I mean that. I don’t have a favorite cuisine as such. As long as the food is tasty I am good. But yes I do have a soft corner for chole.
5. Every person has his/her own inspiration. Who is your inspiration?
So I have a very precise answer to this one. In total 3 people have inspired me, one being my mom the second person is one of my aunts and last Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, he is my idol. I have grown up seeing Khana Khazana on Zee TV it’s like a nostalgic thing for me.
6. Different people, different tastes, different moods. Whenever you cook any dish, what magic do you impart to it so that it can fulfill the expectation of each foodie?
I am an extremely critical person when it comes to food. I can never see someone disrespecting it and demeaning it. So whenever I cook for someone I keep all these things in my mind and the food turns out to be good, well most of the times it does. If I expect perfection, it’s my moral duty to give perfection to everyone.
7. If you were ever given a chance to start a restaurant with any of the renowned chefs who would he be and why?
Well first of my first food venture is up and running, it’s called The Urban Bhukkad. It’s a small joint in Ludhiana serving fusion and gourmet burgers, and I am coming up with my second venture by the end of this year. And well hands down if I get the chances it’s going to be with Sanjeev Sir, he is my idol and my food hero. I’ll be privileged to work alongside him.
8. Two types of people we come across in our lives are “Khane k liye jeene Wale” and “jeene k liye khane wale” In which category do you think Jatin falls? What is your definition of FOOD?
I always say my life revolves around food, be it cooking, creating new dishes, exploring new food etc. Food just makes me feel happy, and cooking is actually a therapy for me. Definitely I’ll say I live for food and I’ll continue doing everything that involves food. I am Bhukkad Chef and Food Is my life.
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