Chef Vicky Ratnani – the name sure does ring a bell, loud and clear! Even as a child, his love for food took him into corners of his home where children rarely venture, such as the kitchen! However, it was this very ‘wanderful’ attitude that led him to discover his passion for food. Soon after, Vicky emerged from his home in the leafy suburbs of Mumbai, graduated from the prestigious Dadar Catering College (Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai) and set sail to pursue his dreams – quite literally! He gained a royal appointment aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), where he engaged with various global culinary traditions. After six world cruises that took him through many, many markets of the world along the way, Vicky went on to live and learn in Genoa, Italy. Among the many feathers in his cap, the one that stands out as the brightest is that of his achievement of being the Personal Chef to Mr. Nelson Mandela, on his journey from Durban to Cape Town while Mr. Mandela was promoting his charitable venture.
Vicky’s finesse led him to leap into the lap of opportunity and be a part of the opening team for Queen Mary 2 (QM2). In preparation for this voyage, Vicky taught at the White Star Chef’s Training School on board QE2, in Manila and St. Nazaire, training over 180 chefs. Vicky also opened up the Britannia Restaurant & Kitchen – the largest restaurant at sea during its Inaugural Opening in 2004 and then progressed to the position of Executive Sous Chef of the QM2. Vicky then moved on to become Executive Chef for the Queen Victoria. As of 2010, he was the first and only Indian Executive Chef in the history of the Cunard Line.
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