Chef Vij: Eating together
An award-winning Vancouver chef and restaurateur is taking his kitchen expertise online to encourage families to eat together.
Cook Live With Vikram Vij
March 7: 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
Ingredients available for download the week of March 4 on the website.
Tweet your questions/comments live to chef Vij by using #VijCookLive
Live Right Now
Every time a shared meal is registered on Live Right Now.ca, Canadians will help put food on the table of a family in need.
Our goal: share 100,000 meals.
Vikram Vij, the co-owner of Vij's and Rangoli, is hosting a live online cooking show that people can follow as he makes an Indian family recipe.
"Mealtimes should be enjoyed not endured," says Vij.
"Make it a fun activity - a fun part of your life and your day. Not only do you feed your body, you feed your soul as well."
Vij says it was chef Anthony Bourdain and his show No Reservations that changed the dynamics of how the Vij family eats together.
In 2007, Bourdain wanted to find out what dinner was like at the Vij household. But, Vij says, his family had no proper dining room or table.
Now they'll often set up the dining room table as if in a formal restaurant.
"It's an open house where you do everything. A dining table is not only an eating place but a utility space where we can hang out and have fun."
Vij with wife and partner, Meeru Dhalwala
Vij and his wife, Meeru Dhalwala, are busy running two Vancouver restaurants, but they always try to find time to eat together with their two teenage daughters.
"Sunday, Mondays are my two days off," Vij says. "Sundays, I always cook a proper sit-down meal with the kids. Mondays are more relaxed - listen to music and get the kids involved in cooking."
If they don't have time in the evenings, they ensure they have breakfast together.
"It doesn't matter what time of day it is, it's sitting together - see how the kids are feeling and how mom and dad communicate."
Vij recalled growing up in India and eating at least one meal together with his parents, grandparents and aunts.
"The idea was not to only have dinner but communication," says Vij. "It was a communication tool for families to talk and discuss each other."
Online cooking show
Vij says he wanted to encourage families to cook together and spread awareness about Indian cooking.
"I feel that Canada is my family, and I want to make sure that my family knows."
It's a cooking class, but it's also an opportunity for the family to sit down together and eat, says Vij.
Let us know what you think. Post your comments below.