"It’s fair to say cooking is in my blood."
Chef Dipna Anand is a UK-based Indian celebrity chef.
She is the co-owner of the popular Brilliant Restaurant in Southall.
The chef is famous for her signature recipes and love for Indian cuisine. This includes her range of Indian dessert-based ice creams like gulab jamun and gajar ka halwa.
In an interview with Indian Express, Dipna Anand talks about her cooking experience.
Dipna revealed that her love for cooking started at a young age.
She explained that being born and brought up in a family of chefs influenced her career path, elaborating:
“It’s fair to say cooking is in my blood.
“I have forever been passionate about food and the way in which I have seen my father take our family restaurant to new successes.
“Growing up, I was fortunate to be able to assist dad in the family business, and going to the restaurants on weekends was something I looked forward to.
“The connection with the world of food was there right from the start and has never stopped since.”
Despite being a celebrity chef, Dipna Anand also looks up to other great chefs for her inspiration.
But her favourite is not a celebrity chef. She explains:
“I have a few favourite celebrity chefs, however, the top chef in my life is my mum.
“I call her super-chef because she can literally make anything and has taught me a lot about cooking.”
However, she looks up to Mary Berry, Gordon Ramsay, James Martin and Michel Roux Jr for professional inspiration.
Telling the history and journey of the family-run Brilliant Restaurant, Dipna said:
“Our restaurant has been established for 45 years.
“Most recipes date back to over 70 years as they are my grandfather’s recipes.”
Explaining about their signature dish, dry butter chicken, Dipna said:
“This is my grandfather’s creation from back in Kenya in the 1950s and we have customers who especially come to us from miles away to have it.”
She also mentions the restaurant’s other signature dishes including jeera chicken and chilli chicken.
She explains that these classic dishes were also created by her grandfather.
However, her favourite and the current hot favourite on the restaurant’s menu is the tandoori lamb chops.
Keeping up the Name
Talking about the quality of the food, Dipna Anand said that consistency has built a strong reputation for their brand.
She goes on to quote Gordon Ramsay giving advice for the restaurant. Chef Ramsay said:
“With a name like Brilliant you have to ensure you are nothing less than brilliant.”
Chef Dipna added:
“Our name is now synonymous in the UK for the best Indian food.
“Our daring name means that we set ourselves a challenge every single day to ensure we do not fall short of that title.
“This brings in new diners along with the fact that our food is always consistent.”
Cooking for Celebrities
The restaurant, being one of the most famous Indian restaurants in London has hosted many celebrities. She said:
“HRH Prince Charles has visited twice and told us it was some of the best Indian food he had ever eaten.
“Gordon Ramsay has also visited twice.”
The Brilliant Restaurant featured on an episode of Ramsay’s Best Restaurant. Dipna shared her experience of having the fiery chef at her restaurant.
“Gordon Ramsay came to our restaurant to learn how to cook Punjabi food and work the clay oven.”
“He left saying, ‘Wow that’s authentic Indian cooking and it’s really good to see as it comes from the heart’.
“That’s a huge compliment coming from a world-famous chef like him.”
She also mentions quite a few renowned personalities who have dined at her restaurant, including Kevin Costner, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Cliff Richard and Princess Anne.
Chef Dipna Anand has also authored two bestselling cookbooks. She also runs a cookery school.
She believes that she is an inspiration for many, being a leading female Indian chef in London.