Author Topic: Vancouver chef Vikram Vij cooks for Canadian Forces overseas - CBC  (Read 1283 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dimsum

    West coast best coast.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 134,405
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,998
  • I get paid to travel. I just don't pick where.
Some good news for deployed foodies.  BZ to Mr. Vij for volunteering his time and expertise.

Quote
As a child growing up in the city of Amritsar in northwest India, Vikram Vij knew the sounds and sights of war very well.

"Indian and Pakistan were fighting," the Vancouver-based celebrity chef recalls, his voice catching and his eyes brimming with tears at the memories.

"And there would be warplanes going above us. We would have blackouts."

It is that childhood experience of war and of the soldiers and pilots who fought for India that fuelled his desire to do something unusual — and, until now, secret.

There are regular visits by comedians, singers and hockey celebrities to entertain and give a boost to Canadian troops who are based abroad during the holidays. Over the years, they've included Rick Mercer, Tom Cochrane and Don Cherry.

But this year, the troops got something very different. Vij flew to the patrol ship HMCS Charlottetown, stationed in the Mediterranean, last Saturday and then to a military base in Kuwait the following day, where Canadian Forces are part of Operation Impact, aimed at fighting ISIS.

Vij, known for his appearance on the TV series Dragons' Den and his high-profile success as a restaurateur and entrepreneur, said he eagerly agreed when Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan asked him to accompany him on the trip.

"It is my sense of duty for India and for Canada," Vij said during an interview at his popular Vancouver restaurant, Vij's, before he left.

Recalling again his childhood pride in the military, Vij said, "We all wanted to be soldiers."

Instead, he came to Canada, where he wields a saucepan instead of a gun.

In the days leading up to his visit with the Forces, Vij showed off the spices he intended to carry in his suitcase: garam masala, turmeric, fenugreek and cinnamon among them.

He was told he would have to improvise. Aboard HMCS Charlottetown, that meant cooking with the navy chefs. Video footage of the visit made available by the Canadian Armed Forces shows the menu included chicken curry.

Sailors raved about it, calling it "'amazing," "delicious" and "probably the best chicken I've ever had."

In Kuwait, Vij held cooking lessons for the military personnel.

One of his students was Sajjan, who asked Vij to come after talking to soldiers about the idea of having Indian food for this year's holiday meal.

"The interest was extremely high," said Sajjan in an interview from Ottawa before he left on the trip.

"I assure you, when it comes to food, how important it is. When you deploy, having a unique flavor really does make your day."

Sajjan, of South Asian heritage, laughed as he denied a joking suggestion that he only invited Vij in order to enjoy the cuisine himself.

"Look at how busy he is with his business, his shows, everything else that he does," said Sajjan of the chef. "But the sense of appreciation that he has for the troops, wanting to do this is genuine."

For Vij, the mission made good on a debt he has felt since boyhood to those who serve in the military.

"Being away from their families at this time of year is extremely difficult, and if I can just soothe their burden and just make them smile a little bit more, what more can I ask for?"

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/chef-vij-hmcs-charlottetown-1.3904460
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline jollyjacktar

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,322
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,516
  • My uncle F/Sgt W.H.S. Buckwell KIA 14/05/43 22YOA
Re: Vancouver chef Vikram Vij cooks for Canadian Forces overseas - CBC
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 07:12:28 »
How unlike, Russell Peters, who said he was too busy to make time for a visit to the troops in Afghanistan when asked if he could.
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 103,080
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,897
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: Vancouver chef Vikram Vij cooks for Canadian Forces overseas - CBC
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 10:12:11 »
BZ to the gentleman, good food and variety is more important than many realize.

Offline Eye In The Sky

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 178,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,473
    • VP INTERNATIONAL
Re: Vancouver chef Vikram Vij cooks for Canadian Forces overseas - CBC
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2016, 10:19:36 »
BZ to the gentleman, good food and variety is more important than many realize.

As well as he, and others, taking time out of their lives and Holidays to make the trip to see our deployed folks.  It's a nice gesture.
"...Pilot, Radar...turn right, heading...3-6-5..."

Offline Journeyman

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 473,915
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,934
Re: Vancouver chef Vikram Vij cooks for Canadian Forces overseas - CBC
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2016, 10:30:33 »
In Kuwait, Vij held cooking lessons for the military personnel.

"Maybe don't boil the crap out of everything?"   ;)


Chef: I was supposed to go to Paris, study at the Escoffier School. That's when I got my orders. Well, I joined the Navy. Heard they had better food. Cook school, that did it. 
Chef: They lined us up in front of a hundred yards of prime rib. All of us, you know, lined up and looking at it. Magnificent meat! Really! Beautifully marbled... magnifique! Next thing, they're throwing the meat into these big cauldrons. All of it, boiling it. I looked inside, man, and it was turning gray. I couldn't ******' believe that one!