The meeting was destined. Or else after three reschedules and multiple whatsapp messages we could not have made it. Saransh reached Kolkata a day earlier and the big boss Kalyan Karmakar had recommended ‘Kochuri’ for him. Somehow ‘Kochuri’ did not happen and I could not attend the book launch in evening. I humbly requested him to wait till 9 PM after the launch and still I couldn’t. Finally on Sunday morning we sat across over a cup of coffee and Saransh’s green tea with honey, which he sipped on in a very stylish manner for a long time. We were sitting at this Cafe in South Kolkata Para where a lazy Sunday morning brings in silence and also helps to open up- The next 1 hour was a journey.
From a supposed to be mechanical engineer to an almost food journalist who also went to acting school leaving his chef’s apron – Who is Saransh Goila? Does he still have some surprises left?
- Jalebi was the beginning – He started making perfect Jalebis at the age of 12. He has a little star sparkle in his eyes when he remembers this vivid memory. His mom had made the batter and as an experiment he did use a Maggi Squeeze bottle to make a Jalebi. He grins and says “Now that I am a chef I need more than 2 -3 days preparation to make a perfect Jalebi. Childhood innocence gives you courage to do lots of things which a matured brain takes away “.
- When the day ends we are all alone – He looks like an ‘enthu cutlet’ on his public appearance but in reality Chef Saransh Goila is an introvert. In his free time he will be watching a movie or alone in his room. So the next time you see the energy ball bouncing around in any event or in front of the microphone, remember there is a completely different person within the same person.
- A movie a day keeps a doctor away – 5000 movies. Yes he has watched 5000 movies and is planning to compile a list of all those movies. Very casually he throws across a statistic, where he had spent almost one and half years of his entire life time watching movies. There is not even a single day when he has not watched a movie or two. He loves International films, drama, off beat bollywood movies.
- Mahesh Bhatt, Anupam Kher and Saransh Goila – When Mahesh Bhatt made ‘Saransh’ – little did he know that this is going to be a turn around movie for his film career and he will gift Indian cinema one of the most talented actors ever – Anupam Kher. The name Saransh comes from the fact that Chef’s parents loved the movie so much that they named him after the movie and hence Chef Saransh Goila. He chuckles and says that his filmy connection started since his birth. He takes the inspiration of his life from the name.
- The acting bug – Saransh doesn’t remember when and how he was struck by the acting bug but he is sure that it has perhaps made a major impact on his life. From theatricals in school, to hosting events in his Hotel Management course days in Aurangabad, it has always been there. The major turning point happened during Christmas when he was in Leelas for almost 1.5 years. Christmas always plays a very important day in his life ( more on that later) and this was not different. From a busy kitchen on a Christmas, he was pulled out to host an event for his guests. The next birthday in the month of February he quits his job, packs his bag and joins Barry Johns acting classes in Mumbai.
- Jingle bells jingle bells – Saransh’s mom says he must have been a christian in his last birth. As a child he used to love watching the Tom and Jerry Christmas special while mom cooked Italian food. He celebrates Christmas more than Diwali. Now wonder why Serendipity is his favourite movie. All his friends now know that Christmas with Saransh means Seredipity as movie, Baked cheese strawberry cake by Saransh, some caramel popcorn, Hot chocolate or wine and some Kahlua Shots to end the night.
- Main Aisa Kyoon Hoo ( Why am I like this ) – His mom wanted him to be an engineer. At the crucial juncture of Std XII, there was a lot of confusion at the Goila household. The boy himself wanted to be an actor. The Grandfather wanted him to be a chef as his creative skills were already very high and expressive by then. Dad always wanted to open a restaurant which never happened but he supported the decision of grandfather and hence started the journey of a chef.
- Un-ban non veg – A secret which perhaps very less people know. He had been a vegetarian till he passed from his Hotel Management College. He realized that he has to taste non veg if he plans to continue his life as a chef. He started with sea food and then subsequently tried out everything.
- Depression and Plan B – One of the best part of him is that when he spoke on this, he was as cool as his demeanor with which he had been speaking for the last 45 minutes. Nothing was working out post his acting school stint at Barry Johns. He started a thematic catering company called Say Chef. In one and half year the business was growing, he was getting to organise Bollywood and other thematic food but soon he realized that this was taking up too much of his time and his dream of a career, which will marry his acting skills with his culinary skills, was not happening. He applies for a Visa to USA for a course in food journalism. June 2011 the Visa gets rejected and he goes into depression. He starts thinking of doing something else, goes to look after the family business for sometime, which in couple of days he realizes is not his cup of tea.
- Climax – For a person who always has his one foot in celluloid and silver screen, how can the life be less filmy. When nothing was working out, he received a call from Food food channel. As filmy as it could be, the same day when he was supposed to join his course in USA, he gave the audition in Mumbai. The rest as we all know is history. Within 2 months of the rejection of visa he travelled to USA …
Saransh was kind enough not to take any calls during the entire discussion, however I realized that I have taken up more time than the allotted, as he was getting delayed for the food walk which was planned later at the day. A customary selfie and book signing session couldn’t stop me asking him the final question- his views on Food Bloggers-
‘It’s an amazing space with lots of activities happening out and the major positive being that it has helped the word to spread and make people aware the effort that goes in bringing a dish to the table from conception to serving. We need to have a standard body/ organization which can segregate the bloggers based on their style, food and other criteria.’
It was indeed great experience meeting him and more so for the reason a complete different aspect of Saransh Goila was revealed. Wishing him all the best for his career and many many more books ..
You can buy his bestseller – India on plate here
P.S. This is not a paid promotion but an outcome of a very interesting intense chat with Saransh on a Sunday morning