Birthday: 26-04-1970
Age: 49
Star sign: Taurus

Known popularly amongst his followers as ‘Vah Chef,' Sanjay Thumma has made a mark for himself doing what he enjoys doing the most: Cooking. He forayed into stardom with his online cooking website and channel ‘VahChef’ on YouTube. Since its inception in 2007, his channel has had more than 100 million hits. His uncomplicated and aesthetically well-presented culinary guidance and inputs have forged him a solid fan base, with most of his fan base consisting of Indian expatriates, homemakers and beginners trying to learn how to cook. 

As his father worked in BHEL, Sanjay resided in a township in Hyderabad. To contain his mischievous nature, his mother used to allot him kitchen duties such as grinding spices and so on. The influence his mother had on his passion for cooking simply cannot be stressed upon enough as her allowing him to enquire about stuff about cooking and partake in the preparation of meals meant that the cornerstone on which his success as a chef would later be based on would be laid. He honed his skills further by pursuing and acquiring a graduation degree in ‘Hotel Management’ from the Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition Department, the Institute of Hotel Management, Hyderabad (IHM). 

Sanjay began his career by working for various ITC-owned hotels in Gurgaon, Jaipur, Chennai and Agra. Later on, he migrated to Chicago in the United States to start his restaurant, Sizzle India. After managing to open four restaurants in about seven years, he sold his chain of restaurants off and undertook a two-year hiatus. 

The concept of came to being when Sanjay started getting requests for recipes from his family members and had to go through a tedious process repeating the cooking again and again. Therefore, in September 2007, he set up a studio in Chicago and started recording  150 of his earliest recipes, which he duly went ahead and posted on YouTube. He started gaining popularity and soon became the darling of audiences with each video gained response and in some cases, more than a million views. After all the acclaim he received from his ventures on YouTube, he launched his and returned to his hometown, Hyderabad, where he is currently residing. He was quoted saying, “A restaurant can feed only a few hundred, my website feeds lakhs of them.”

It is a well-known fact that Sanjay’s videos are recorded and edited by his wife, Ragini. The videos are not overbearing as Sanjay adds a pinch of humor and takes his time to explain and demonstrate which ensures that they remain easy to follow. Besides strengthening an internet presence, he has replicated his success on the internet by co-hosting and judging a cookery show, ‘Vantintlo Wonders,’ which was aired on Telugu channel, Gemini TV. Recently, he has been hosting another culinary show, ‘Vahrehvah’, which is aired on Zee Telugu.

Till date, Sanjay has been awarded a gold medal in the All-India chef’s competition for culinary arts, and his nuance and accomplishments were acknowledged as he was recognized as ‘Noteworthy Newcomer’ at the Times Food Festival. 

Sarthak Bhardwaj Hindi Actor

Sarthak Bhardwaj

Sarthak Bhardwaj is a boy from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, who won the title of first Junior Master Chef 2013 of India. Sarthak runs a food joint with his mother, and according to him, this overwhelming victory is a sign of fulfillment of his dreams. He says he had never thought that he would be winning the Master Chef, and the lad also intends to write a book on recipes for beginners. After winning the show, he said he wants to join National Defence Academy after passing out from school. In Master Chef Finale, Sarthak had defeated two other contestants, Sakshi Thripathi and Devender Singh. He got a cash prize of 22 carat gold from Amul and 22 Lakh from the show. Throughout the show, Sarthak had gained attention for his creative and mind blowing recipes. In the final round, he had prepared an Indian vegetarian dish, Nargisi Kofta. He had begun cooking at the age of nine to help his widowed mother run a small food stall. But he never had thought that he would be able to showcase his culinary skills on a television channel. Initially, during the auditions he was very scared but later when the judges started appreciating his skills, he began gaining confidence. He was often known as the Kanhaiyya as all the girl contestants wanted him to be on their team. The season of Master Chef was co-judged by Surjan Singh Jolly, Kunal Kapoor and Vikas Khanna. It was during this season that the actress Sonakshi Sinha had made a short appearance to promote her movie, Bullet Raja. Tripti, Sarthak’s mother, is an Anganwadi worker, who earns a salary of Rs. 2250 in a month. As he couldn’t afford magazines on cooking, he had to refer to the recipes published in newspapers. Before coming onto the show, he had not received any professional cooking training.


Gautam Mehrishi

Gautam Mehrishi is one of the most reputed chefs in India who has contributed to globalising Indian cuisines and bringing in the western mixes of baking. He hails from a family of army doctors who had to relocate frequently. On being asked, he fondly remembers the fact that in spite of the relocations, his family always had dinners together around a table. In spite of hailing from a vegetarian family, he used to look up and cook non-vegetarian dishes. His passion for cooking was backed up by his grandfather, and he joined as a management trainee in Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. Gautam became a popular chef after associating himself with shows on various channels. He hosted the show Smart Srimati ki Rasoi on DD1, which had the aim of targeting housewives and uplifting their culinary skills. Later he also hosted shows like Naram Garam on Sahara One, Kitchen Champion on Colors Channel. The show which made him a household name was Zee Tv’s Khana Khazana. It provided him with the exposure to common man’s kitchen. His show Bake Do Teen on Zee Tv focussed on the art of baking. The agenda was to propagate the fact that baking does not require complex skills or ingredients and can be easily performed, even without an oven or microwave. He also appeared as host chef on the show Jain Jalsa where he ensured that traditional Jain foods were popularised and how common snacks like pasta and sushi could be made with Jain ingredients. Gautam’s recent venture was the show Food Ka Mood where he displays the latest culinary techniques used worldwide. His charming smile and calmness that he believes to have inherited from his family are what makes his shows so entertaining and enriching at the same time. Gautam is currently working as a corporate chef at Sun and Sand Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai.

Gautam Mehrishi Hindi Actor