My circle story's present
A cup of life with master chef Mirvaan vinayak
Sir, welcome to my circle. Thank you for joining us.
I was doing a back research on you and saw you were from Delhi Public School, Faridabad. Right?
(Mirvan chuckles in the background saying yes) . My question to you is how were you during school time, were you a naughty kid or a docile kid, were you passionate about theatre and food from your school life itself?
I was a sharrif kid, not good in studies at all, I was good in every other thing. All the ezra curricular activities you name it I was good at, except sports and studies. Apart from that I did everything, from Art and Craft, Singing, dancing, you name it. I was an active kid in the extracurricular regiments of my school, and I was a pretty popular kid. Everyone knew me as I used to be in the choir front row, I would perform dance in the functions. I was popular among teachers as well, I was a Chattu bacha (OH!). I used to run behind my teachers and would get marks because of that reason, ( I laughed a bit ). There was a new subject introduced by the CBSE board during my batch where your marks were based on your participation, how you behave and activeness in the class , not just studies. All my teachers would adore me in A grades.
I believe if Studies were not the main part on how you measure a child’s grade you would have actually topped your class
As you are a chef residing near a culinary fiesta city Delhi, you reside in Faridabad, wherein you will get mouth watering food. I find this to be a dangerous combination. What is that one seet food you always go back to, which brings back memories for you ?
GOL GAPPE ! gol gappe all the time, like today also I was crossing this golgappa seller and I called my mother whether you want to grab a bite, we had an extensive conversation for ten minutes to decide as we ate outside food day before yesterday, we chomped on some fried food yesterday do let us forgo it today and have it tomorrow, she started cribbing about it because she wanted to have tikki, There is this very famous tikki seller in Faridabad. He only maks tikkis in winter, I is a fruit tikki. He puts fruits on the tikki like apples and bananas. Personally I dislike it, but I like the tikki with the chutney but maa likes it with the fruit. She wanted to eat it so we were having a conversation about whether we should eat it or not, as I had already made some soup already. So for tomorrow I will be having fruit tikki. I am a big chaat fan, I always have this conversation with my Bombay friends as well. They keep bragging about the chaat over there, to be honest Bombay has really good bread, but no one can beat Delhi Chaat. The pavs are the main part of mumbai chaat like misal pav, vada pav, samosa pav, pav is the main thing. We do not get that pav and I miss that pav. For me chaat is supposed to be sour and tangy, that is chaat for me. Vadapav is not chaat. (Yeaah! Vadapav is more like a snack than a chaat). Here we do not put the warm raagda, here we have all purpose flour golgappa puris whereas or there uoi have wheat based golgappa puris So golgappa is my favourite not pani puri, Puchkas in bengal are a bit sour and I like the sweeter version. (Omg! Same, do people judge you? Like it happens with me when I ask for meetha panipuri my friends give me that judgemental stare) Not really, why does one have to judge, the only thing that is happening that meetha chutney is being added.
On researching more and more about you I came across your TEDx talk, where you talked about the seat you sat in.I was a ‘dramebaaz’, I was a theatre kid. It was really interesting and it really caught my attention. Can you explain to me how you got into theatre?
Umm, Attention because I love being the center of attention. I wanted everyone to look at me and just praise me. I always wanted to be on television before I got into the culinary profession. I was cleaning my house and I came across a really old diary, it must have been somewhere between third to fifth grade. On the first page I had written dreams, and I had drawn a cloud that had written a few things. The first thing that I had written was acting. So I always wanted to be an actor. Cooking was more of a hobby, I used to cook at home, I had never taken it seriously. After I saw that there is a lot of struggle in this field, it is not really stable. I used to do it for my sake, my journey in Delhi university was not that great, the crowd was appalling, as I was coming from DPS going to Delhi university which is a government college, it was a drastic change for me. So on the first day of college I had joined theatre society, and theatre had entered my life back, once again, after school and that really opened me up because Delhi is vast, it is huge, to survive you should join a society or something, or you cannot survive in the college. Theatre gave me a lot of confidence, in school theatre would take part onl one time, that is the annual day. Here you do it everyday, I skipped classes to go and attend the drama classes. I would go there only, I did not know anyone in my class leaving the roll number before me and after me so that I could cheat in exams. (Chuckles!)
How was it when people approached you to talk on a TEDx stage, feeling like how is this happening with me, what was the procedure like and what was that feeling like to be called as a speaker in your own school to motivate people ?
I was very nervous, even when I look back at my video now it is a bit cringe for me, When I was informed that I have to do a TEDx talk for my school and I went for it as it was a big opportunity and I should clearly not say no to it. It was easier as the school setting and atmosphere was a familiar setting. Unlike me performing somewhere else as it will be a newer audience and it would have put me out of place a bit. I knew the crowd and what would run with them, the main trouble was for me to find something sad about my life. It was a TEDx talk, like there is always always something that is a bit sad and how they overcame it. I have not found a TEDx talk where it was all happy. As there is no struggle if the talk was all rosy and not inspiring. In the process of making a speech I really had to figure out what was it that I can speak about that inspires people, As I really did not have a sad story wherein I am suffering, or like dad said no for something, when my dad did say no for a thing, I took a practical approach and thought whatever I want to pursue I will do it after college. So I had to come up with a different approach. That is why I thought of taking an example of tea and relating it to how one is as a person, how you become a person in this world, like every component of tea signifies something. I had made a whole analogy like this, my friends assisted me in making the script as I was really bad at it, When I wrote the first draft and I had sent it to my friends. They told me that people will throw tomatoes at me for saying all of this. They sat with me and they corrected the entire thing. The basic outcome was the same: they helped me rectify it. The TEDx talk was fun.
If I am not mistaken you have worked in this show called a suitable boy, so I wanted to ask what the process was like, how do you prepare yourself for a certain role. What is your methodology as an actor?
I always call myself a pseudo actor, I am more on the lines of Kareena Kapoor’s way of acting. You tell me what to do, I will do it. That is the type of actor I am. I was in street play, so with street plays we had to write and compose songs, we have tto write the dialouges and literally do everything else, thy did ask me for inputs but I was a dumb kid, I jus know how to act. That is why in the team I would get best acting awards as well. I would not really contribute in constructing the play. I would help people improve their skills without realising how good I am. With a suitable boy as well the process was really different. My journey from theater background, to working in street plays and then going and working with Mira Nair, it was a dream. I did a musical theater before, it has no online traces, that show was to be performed in London and everything was booked. We were supposed to travel to London and perform it. It was a musical Broadway show. That is how I met Mira (nair) and we did perform in Delhi after one and a half month of practice and it was a small production, not small budget wise, small as in the size was small. That was my first theater gig, before that I had done street plays. People who I had met in the musical, Mira, had done it in Berklee’s before that. They performed around 95 shows, that is why they were planning to do the second round in London. I was supposed to be in London for three four months but due to covid saab bardbad hoagaya That is how I auditioned for a suitable boy, I got to meet Vikram as well. And Mira took me for the suitable boy she took half of the cast from Monsoon Wedding (The musical theatre gig)
That is amazing now I feel there should be one or two podcasts with you and your team wherein you can talk about your stories and reminisce about the time spent together. It will be fun and intresting.
Yeaah, it will be interesting, I am actually a very talkative person in general. Right now I am driving and taking this interview, I do not like staying indoors during winter anyways. It is such good weather. I like going out for a drive and meeting my friends. Usually I do not listen to music, I call my friends and talk with them, throughout my journey. This is not new to me.
I really feel you should do a part time job as a radio jockey, it comes naturally to you.
My dialect is not that clear. I feel you should do it.
You are a chef, it is all over your instagram, you might have had your fair share of learning to perfect your skill. What are those few embarrassing dishes you have made?
I mean there were so many dishes like that even in my journey in masterchef there were so many embarrassing dishes as well. I can never make a good gnocchi, (gnocchi is a pasta one makes with potatoes) I had made the gnocchi in masterchef once, with a saffron and blue cheese sauce. With a ginger, almond pistachio crumble on top of it. It was a mystery box challenge, I had to use those ingredients specifically. I had made that gnocchi and chef Kunal came to me off-air and said that the sauce was so good but yeh kya gobar jaise gnocchi banayi tune . Next time I tried, when I came back and tried making it again, and no one touched it, no one. From now on I will not be making gnocchi ever again. I am okay with other dishes as well. I do not prefer making sweet dishes and I really do not have much of a sweet tooth. My nana was a halwai so it is in my genes that if I make a sweet dish it will come out well, but I try to stay away from it. Like baking is something which scares me, it is so precise. You cannot do baking with our eye measurements. Hence I stay away from baking. I prefer cooking Indian desserts, I prefer them over those international french desserts.
What is your comfort dish, the one you will make anytime and it will always turn out to be perfect around 99% ?
Butter chicken. I can close my eyes and make butter chicken.
Oh wow! Now I am getting hungry at this moment.
I asked you the first question that I had asked have you eaten or not
Yes, but the way you are describing it makes it sound more delicious. Even if I am full, the greedy side of me wants to eat it.
So yeah, Butter chicken is my favourite. It is my family’s favourite as well. I love making any kinds of tikkas as well, I really love love love it, so I am good at that.
When I saw the anticipation in masterchef shows, it got me thinking, how is itto be on the other side as the participant, where you are under a lot of pressure? How was it ?
After masterchef I believe I work really well under pressure, as there was not a single time that my dish was not complete. The taste could have been good or not that good but I made sure I completed my task in the given set of time. That matters, and I do not think one gets the pressure. Even in masterchef I do not remember the feeling I was just very very quick with it. You will finish your dish just do not go haywire with your ingredients, keep it simple and unique .
I really hope you turn out to be the Gordon Ramsay of India
Leaving the harshness out I would love to achieve as much as he did as a chef.
What is that one cause you feel for?
Hunger , I feel hunger. I want to eradicate hunger. I believe in serving others before eating, I have been working with lots of NGO like Feeding India. I love feeding people. When I would see my mom cooking and serving me it would give me happiness. I want to do the same, spread happiness. It is such a noble cause to serve food, people unite through food. It is an important part of life, I think food can bring peace. I hope it does.
What is that one khwaab you hold?
I wish to have a lot of restaurants, travel shows and act somewhere.
I would love to see you in a travel show
Aah!! There is one show that is in running, I have seen the bits and pieces I really wish they put it out in TravelXp o Netflix
What is the one lesson someone should learn from your life? What is the title of your life?
The Lazy Chef, A lesson I learnt from my mom is that you keep doing good deeds and good deeds will come back to you. You should be kind and empathetic to everyone if possible. I want to spread happiness and kindness, like covid has taught us a lot about relationships with our close ones.
Thank you so much, this seemed like a conversation way. Had a great time knowing you