It was a red-carpet welcome for the Yellow Chilli legend.
Master chef Sanjeev Kapoor, India’s most famous culinary figure, flew in from Delhi to host Monday’s grand opening of the newest restaurant in his global empire, The Yellow Chilli in Santa Clara.
The Bay Area’s Indian media crowded the red carpet to capture the arrival of the man whose reach may exceed that of any U.S. celebrity chef, and local dignitaries feted him with proclamations and plaques.
How big is Kapoor? His long-running “Khana Khazana” TV show reaches an estimated 500 million people, making it the most-watched program in Asia; he launched his own 24-hour food channel; he’s written more than 150 cookbooks; and his website boasts 15,000 recipes. His restaurants are found throughout Asia and increasingly, North America.
Despite his vast empire, Kapoor is often praised for having a personal touch more common in workaday cooks than celebrity chefs. Customers come in the door because of his name, he said; however, he added in introducing corporate chef Pradipto Das and his Santa Clara chefs, “When they go out they should remember your name.”
The audience was packed with fans who had followed Kapoor for years, both in Asia and in this country.