RESTAURANT VALENTINO’S. GANDHI NAGAR, KULLU, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA.
Owner and chef, Vipin Sharma.
His father might have wanted him to pick up a hammer and saw to someday manage his carpentry business alongside an elder brother, but Vipin since a boy just couldn’t get over the intense love he felt for the ladle and the spoon. A love that made him leave home at a young age, work as a kitchen helper in Pushkar, Rajasthan, travel as a stowaway on board trains to learn the art of English style cooking at a bakery cum restaurant in Goa that shut shop long ago, and finally gather up enough money to open his own restaurant in 2001.
Now 36 and the father of two, Vipin is the proud owner of one of the valley’s more popular restaurants with branches to be found at Ghandhi Nagar near Kullu and Jagatsuk, near Manali, and a third in Kasol he helped set-up for a former staff member. Presently, with his elder brother in charge of Valentino’s Jagatsuk, Vipin pours his time and energy, taking his staff out on outings and naturally immersing himself in what he loves to do most – heat up the frying pan, grind some spices and serve guests to platefuls of sumptuous Italian and Mexican delicacies prepared with a western touch. Chat-up with Vipin, when visiting or learn more about his restaurant on Farbound. Net at Valentino’s: Cooking with herbs.