Humble and passionate. These are the two words to describe the banker-turned-chef Vinod Pagaria, aka, VP (as his grandson calls him). After serving with Punjab National Bank for 36 years, Pagaria eventually decided to pursue his passion for cooking. He took the plunge to set up his open-air restaurant, Indiana, at Ambamata, at the age of 63.
“Cooking is more or less like banking, a small error can spoil the entire balance sheet of the recipe,” says Pagaria, who inherited his love for cooking from his father.
Since the time of his job at the bank, he enjoyed experimenting with recipes and that’s where his USP lies. He not only prepares different varieties of dishes but also enjoys preparing regular dishes differently. As a result, he has developed technical fundamentals and knowledge of ingredients, via practice and experimentation with various types of cuisine.
His restaurant, Indiana, is a garden restaurant with an open, fresh and serene ambiance that gives you a feeling of sitting in your own lavish garden. A unique feature Indiana is that it will amalgamate the surrounding and ambiance to suit any kind of occasion, be it a candle-lit dinner, a birthday party, office party celebrations, dance parties or any other get-together for under 150 people.
VP can often be spotted toiling away in the restaurant, personally involved in the preparation for the dishes to be served.
His venture Indiana, in partnership with his late friend Suresh Dalal’s sons, Pawan and Akash Dalal, was his son’s dream for him. His son Mayank, has been into the hotel business for past two years. Mayank’s hotel, Samridhi, with its rooftop restaurant Roof Rasoi, situated at Fatehpura, is already a popular name in the city.
Vinod Pagaria, with his unmatched energy at this age, stands as a pillar for his equally devoted team at Indiana, the restaurant that serves both Indian and International cuisines.