Early Life of Harpal Singh Sokhi
Harpal Singh Sokhi grew up in Kharagpur, West Bengal where his father worked with the Indian Railways. He studied at the South Eastern Railway Mixed Higher Secondary School. He was inspired to become a chef by his mother’s cooking. His brother also cooked food at a langar. Harpal’s brother encouraged him to appear for the hotel management entrance exam, and Sokhi enrolled at the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Bhubaneshwar in 1984.
Career of Harpal Singh Sokhi
In 1987, Harpal Singh Sokhi completed his diploma in catering from IHM Bhubaneswar. He started his career as a Trainee Cook at "The Oberoi" in Bhubaneswar. At 27, he became an Executive Chef.
Harpal Singh Sokhi spent several years in learning different international cuisines. He learnt Hyderabadi cooking from Ustad Habib Pasha and Begum Mumtaz Khan. He also did research on Ayurveda based food to see how cooking can improve nutritive value of the food.
He went on to work as a chef with several restaurants, including:
Sokhi has conducted cooking schools at Regent Jakarta and The Peninsula Manila. He has also organized Indian food festivals internationally. Sokhi has taught as a guest faculty member at the N. L. Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research.
In 2001, Harpal Singh Sokhi and others founded "Khana Khazana India Pvt Ltd". He led food trials, developed ready-to-eat products for the Khazana brand, and conceptualized a range of ‘Chocolate Mithais’. He has also been involved with the Ching’s Secret brand.
Sokhi executed the business class menus on Singapore Airlines for 7 years. He has also developed menus for SOTC travels. Besides, he has developed menus for Wockhardt Hospitals.
Media Appearance of Harpal Singh Sokhi
In 1993, Harpal Singh Sokhi hosted the first episode of "Khana Khazana" on Zee TV. Later, he started hosting "Turban Tadka" on Food Food channel, which gained him popular recognition in India. It became one of the top cookery shows and Sokhi came to be known for his phrase "Namak Shamak".
He has also hosted the TV shows "Kitchen Khiladi" and "Sirf Tees Minute on "Food Food channel. In 2014, he hosted Zee News’ road food show "Desh Da Swaad", traveling across India. He is also one of India’s top chefs on YouTube.
Other Ventures of Harpal Singh Sokhi
In 1998, Harpal Singh Sokhi conceptualized and executed the opening of the Indian specialty restaurant "Khazana" in Dubai. In 2012, he decided to launch his own restaurant chain "The Funjabi Tadka". The flagship branch of the restaurant opened on 18th January 2013 in Kolkata.
Harpal Singh Sokhi has written food columns for newspapers and magazines. He is one of the oldest associates of Sanjeev Kapoor, and has developed content for his books. The two have authored a book "Royal Hyderabadi Cooking".