No matter how modern our lifestyle or thinking might become, there are some old time beliefs and charms which will never stop lingering on our minds. Some of us still continue to cling on to some practices or superstitions. We believe in them because they have always been ‘lucky’ for us. It’s reassuring to know that these practices or beliefs might protect us, in some way, from any kind of bad luck or evil. They may or may not be true but we follow them perhaps for our own mental satisfaction and peace.
A whole lot of superstitions exist around food and cooking as well. We asked five celebrity chefs to share some kitchen superstitions that they actually believe in and follow.
1. Chef Ranveer Brar
“I believe in dropping some salt on the kitchen floor before I commence with my cooking. Also, I make sure that I am in the kitchen around 12 0’ clock every new year as it brings good luck to me”. Ranveer Brar is a celebrated chef, TV host, judge and food stylist.
2. Chef Vaibhav Bhargava
The Executive Chef at Pan Asian, ITC Sheraton Hotel in New Delhi and a master in the art of cooking Asian cuisine, he says, “In the Chinese kitchen, I touch the wok range where the food is cooked before I start cooking as a form of worship just like we touch the feet of God so as to prevent any kind of mishap or accidents as they require high pressure fire for cooking.”
3. Chef Neeraj Tyagi
Chef Tyagi is Executive Chef at Shangrila Eros Hotel in New Delhi and is known for bringing fresh and innovative culinary art to his kitchen from his experience of working with several different restaurants and traveling all over the world. He believes, “When I set the curd, I put a dried chilli on top of the bowl so that it sets well. Also, when a new tandoor comes into my kitchen I worship it before I commence cooking on it.”
4. Chef Vikram Khatri
Chef Vikram is fiercely devoted to freshness, hygiene and technique. He and his team have won many awards while working at Guppy By Ai in New Delhi which include the Best Sushi Chef and the International Chef of the Year for two consecutive years. He tells us,“I don’t believe in stating any sales targets as I feel that may lead to cancellation of reservations. I don’t like predicting any sales number even when I see a lot of walk-ins.”
5. Chef Vicky Ratnani
Chef Vicky Ratnani is a popular Indian chef and also hosts a cooking show on NDTV GoodTimes. He shares, “Eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Also, have a grape at the beginning of a month to predict how it is going to turn out. If the grape is sweet the month will go well whereas if you have a sour grape the month will be rough.” His friend from Mexico shared this superstition with him.
This is not all, there are many other superstitions that people actually follow when it comes to cooking. Some say that if the apron comes out or falls off while working in the kitchen it is a sign that someone is thinking of you. Others believe that if a fork accidentally falls on the kitchen floor a male visitor will knock on your door soon and if a spoon falls off a female visitor is expected. You may have noticed that most chefs are also a bit picky about sharing their knives or passing it to any other person. This could be based on a popular belief that sharing knives brings bad luck. Is there any truth in these superstitions? Who knows, but if it floats your boat then why not?