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Vikram Vij

Celebrity Chef & former Dragon on CBC TV's Dragons' Den


Chef Vikram Vij is a man of many talents. Austrian-trained Chef, Restaurateur, award-winning cook book author, certified sommelier, Food Network host & judge, former "Dragon" on CBC's Dragons' Den. Cooking since he was 10 years old & with 2 successful restaurants under his belt, Vancouver-based Vij's & Rangoli, he is a man with a clear vision - to spend his life introducing fine Indian cuisine to the masses.

“Everything we do is about a love and passion for Indian food,” says Vikram Vij. But how did one of Canada’s most successful restaurateurs take that passion and turn it into a thriving business? In funny, heartfelt talks, Vij shares his journey from New Delhi to Dragons’ Den, and what we can all learn about entrepreneurship, vision, and how business and love can—and should—go together.   +

Vikram Vij was born in India in 1964 and lived in New Delhi and Bombay until the age of 20, when he went to study, live and work in Austria. While he was there he received his chef certificate from the Salzburg Hotel Management School. Vikram moved to Canada in 1989 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Vikram became a certified sommelier from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, and is passionate about pairing wines with his cuisine.

In September 1994, Vikram opened Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, BC. In early 1995, the passionate and creative Meeru Dhalwala joined him, and the two began collaborating on the menu. Over the past 20-plus years, Vij’s Restaurant has become globally renowned as one of the finest Indian dining experiences in the world. New York Times food writer Mark Bittman called Vij's “…easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” In December 2015, Vij’s moved to a new, larger location on Vancouver’s Cambie Street.

In June 2014, Vikram opened his third restaurant, My Shanti, based in South Surrey. The theme of My Shanti is based on Vikram’s culinary travels, and includes flavours, ingredients and influences from all over the world. Within weeks of opening, My Shanti received a nomination from Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants and has since won multiple accolades.

Television & Media

Vikram was a guest judge on Top Chef Canada in 2011 and 2012 and he was the guest of honour in a 2013 Top Chef Canada episode dedicated to Indian cuisine. That episode also featured the Vij’s At Home packaged foods, which were sampled by the contestants. He was also a judge on the first ever Chopped Canada show and appeared weekly on CBC’s Recipe to Riches.

October 2014 saw Vikram make his debut as the first Indo-Canadian Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. He took his place in the Den alongside esteemed entrepreneurs Jim Treliving, Arlene Dickinson, David Chilton, and Michael Wekerle. During Vikram’s time in the Den, he invested in a number of new businesses and continues to work with the entrepreneurs involved.

In March 2013, Vikram hosted the world’s first ever live-streamed cook-along, Cook Live With Vikram Vij. As part of Vikram’s goal, to make Indian cuisine accessible to all, people were encouraged to join him live online and cook a family meal at the same time, taking instruction from an award-winning chef. They were able to tweet questions and photos as the curry was being prepared.

Vikram released his autobiography in spring of 2017, entitled Vij: A Chef’s One Way Ticket to Canada With Indian Spices In His Suitcase. It tells the story of his journey to Canada thanks to his mentor Ivor Petrak, former manager of the Banff Springs Hotel, and the growth of his businesses over the past 30 years.

Vikram is also the co-author of three cookbooks with Meeru Dhalwala: Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine, Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey and Vij’s Indian--

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From the Kitchen to the Boardroom
Business, Entrepreneurship, and Cooking with Love   +

When Vikram Vij immigrated to Canada in 1989, he had no idea he would eventually become one of the country’s most recognizable faces. In this talk, he takes us through his journey—from opening his first restaurant to starring on one of the most popular shows in Canada—and the obstacles, challenges, and successes he experienced along the way. How does he do things differently from other entrepreneurs? How has he expanded his business without compromising his vision? And how has he kept his family and his love for Indian cooking at the forefront of everything he does? It all comes down to passion, he says—for what you do, for where you came from, and for what you want to accomplish in this life.   --

Chef Vikram Vij is represented by K&M Productions for speaking engagements. For more information, fees and booking Vikram Vij, contact us. (We will only respond to SERIOUS booking-related inquiries.)

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