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 studied till the fourth standard at St. Thomas School. Sanjeev went to Kendriya Vidyalaya, Punjab Regimental Centre in Meerut Kent for the fifth, sixth, and seventh standards. He completed his eighth standard at St Marry’s Academy in Saharanpur. Later, Sanjeev studied at Government Senior Secondary Boys School in Rajauri Garden, New Delhi. In 1984, Sanjeev completed his Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Pusa, New Delhi.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): 38-32-14
Parents & Siblings
Sanjeev Kapoor’s father’s name is Surinder Kapoor who was an employee of the State Bank of India. Sanjeev’s father passed away 18 years ago on 22 February 2004.
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 5 October 1992.
Alyona is a chef and Sanjeev’s partner in his venture ‘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).
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 being the host of the 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.”
In 2012, Sanjeev participated as a contestant in ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa’ Season 5 with choreographer Nicole Alvares on Colors TV.
In 2013, Sanjeev Kapoor launched a cooking reality show “Sanjeev Kapoor Ke Kitchen Khiladi” on Sony TV 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) on StarPlus.
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 like English, Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati. Sanjeev’s book ‘The Yellow Chilli Cookbook’ got the award for Best International Cookbook at the International Book Awards 2012. His book ‘aah! Chocolate’ was awarded the Gourmand Best Cookbook Photography award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 in Paris and the Best in the World award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2014 in Beijing.
In 2017, ‘Tinychef’ was launched which is a cooking and meal planner, 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’ which is 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 ‘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. The academy has more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, and articles on cooking in both English and Hindi language.
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 an 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 said,
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, Honour, Achievement
- 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 and Entrepreneur
- 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 to uplifting Indian cuisine
- In 2021, Sanjeev Kapoor was approached to be the guest of honour at Flavours of Punjab, 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
- Actor: Amitabh Bachchan
- Destination: New Zealand
- In 2010, Sanjeev Kapoor was listed at No. 31 in Reader’s Digest which is 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.
Sanjeev was ranked 73 in 2016 and 34 in 2017 on Forbes India Celebrity 100 list.
- The cooking show Khana Khazana hosted by Sanjeev Kapoor was originally named ‘Shriman Bawarchi.’
- While pursuing graduation from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Sanjeev Kapoor took part in the catering and food service department 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 people 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. He loves to play drum or guitar and often shares his video on social media.
- Harvard Business School has devoted a case study to chef Sanjeev Kapoor. It is titled ‘Sanjeev Kapoor: The Recipe for Success’ and is written by Boris Groysberg and Mahima Rao Kachroo.
- 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 to feature in his programme “Quest” on the 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 deprived 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.