Chef Prashant Sharma got inspiration from his uncle, actor Anup Upadhyay; says he cherishes this Mama-Bhanja bond

Chef Prashant Sharma, who is currently working globally, shares how got inspiration in cooking from his uncle actor Anup Upadhyay. Prashant says, “During the time when I had to move to Mumbai from Gurgaon for my Secondary Education in the year 2004, I had to leave my comfort zone. Lifestyle of Mumbai was fast and furious. In between, he always shared his journey with me and my brother. He spoke about times when he started his acting career and had to also spend time in Delhi. The interest in coming started when I started hating restaurant food and told Mamaji. He was fed up with my tantrums and that day he started to teach me cooking.He started with Tadka of dal which scared the hell out of me and I ran miles away from the pan. Never knew that while eating can be so easy and delicious, making it is so difficult. Slowly and gradually, tolerating all his shouting inside the kitchen, I learnt to manage. This method actually benefited me when I came to the professional kitchen where scolding and aggression from one of the best Chefs from the industry was so easy for me to tackle. During the time with Mamaji, he invited some of his TV and movie colleagues and served food made by us. That was a memorable time for us and we still remember that single room in Mhada, Malad where the stress of cooking for me turned into a fun part of day-to-day life. Mamaji has always been motivational and enthusiastic with the way he makes everyone laugh.”

Anup says, “My nephew Prashant came at the time when I was also struggling as an actor and was not cooking at home. But he started disliking the restaurant food as we know necessity is the mother of invention. So I started cooking and he used to observe everything minutely.” Speaking more about his actor uncle Prashant says, “Mamaji has got a distinctive personality among many comedian actors in film and television fraternity. I have lived some of the moments with him, where he had ambitions in his eyes about his career and dreams. Never taking shortcuts in life is one of the major things I have also learnt from him. There are a number of positive things in him that can be discussed which we have adapted from his style of living life. Mimicry was a part of our family meets and mamaji was the one who always eased out the situations and got a smile on kids and elders. The most important part for a person who does mimicry is that somebody is not hurt and this quality of mamaji delighted me. Professional Kitchen has always been really busy – hours of working where you won’t see much smiles or laughter. This course of laughter I added in my menu and I started seeing laughter and smiles. I am happy about this talent I got from Mama Bhanja bond.”

On the other hand Anup adds, “Prashant has been a sincere child and also someone who values his family a lot. Almost every day we speak over a call wherever he is.”