Spice Up Your Life
Vikram Vij is one of the most passionate entrepreneurs you’ll ever see. Passion for food, wine, family, business, and travel run deep for Vikram—and come through in his elegant and eloquent keynotes. Whether you’re interested in Vikram’s philanthropic pursuits, his booming businesses, or his journey to media stardom, prepare to sit back and be entertained. Your audience will absolutely love Vikram’s charming and authentic presence, and his many wonderful stories.
Vikram Vij was born in India in 1964 and lived in New Delhi and Bombay until the age of 20, when he went to study, live and work in Austria. While he was there he received his chef certificate from the Salzburg Hotel Management School. Vikram moved to Canada in 1989 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Vikram became a certified sommelier from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, and is passionate about pairing wines with his cuisine.
In September 1994, Vikram opened Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, BC. In early 1995, the passionate and creative Meeru Dhalwala joined him, and the two began collaborating on the menu. Over the past 20-plus years, Vij’s Restaurant has become globally renowned as one of the finest Indian dining experiences in the world. New York Times food writer Mark Bittman called Vij's “…easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” In December 2015, Vij’s moved to a new, larger location on Vancouver’s Cambie Street.
In June 2014, Vikram opened his third restaurant, My Shanti, based in South Surrey. The theme of My Shanti is based on Vikram’s culinary travels, and includes flavours, ingredients and influences from all over the world. Within weeks of opening, My Shanti received a nomination from Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants and has since won multiple accolades.
Television and Media
Vikram was a guest judge on Top Chef Canada in 2011 and 2012 and he was the guest of honour in a 2013 Top Chef Canada episode dedicated to Indian cuisine. That episode also featured the Vij’s At Home packaged foods, which were sampled by the contestants. He was also a judge on the first ever Chopped Canada show and appeared weekly on CBC’s Recipe to Riches.
October 2014 saw Vikram make his debut as the first Indo-Canadian Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. He took his place in the Den alongside esteemed entrepreneurs Jim Treliving, Arlene Dickenson, David Chilton, and Michael Wekerle. During Vikram’s time in the Den, he invested in a number of new businesses and continues to work with the entrepreneurs involved.
In March 2013, Vikram hosted the world’s first ever live-streamed cook-along, Cook Live With Vikram Vij. As part of Vikram’s goal, to make Indian cuisine accessible to all, people were encouraged to join him live online and cook a family meal at the same time, taking instruction from an award-winning chef. They were able to tweet questions and photos as the curry was being prepared.
Vikram released his autobiography in spring of 2017, entitled Vij: A Chef’s One Way Ticket to Canada With Indian Spices In His Suitcase. It tells the story of his journey to Canada thanks to his mentor Ivor Petrak, former manager of the Banff Springs Hotel, and the growth of his businesses over the past 30 years.
Vikram is also the co-author of three cookbooks with Meeru Dhalwala: Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine, Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey and Vij’s Indian.
Vikram has long been involved with the Chef’s Table Society of British Columbia, Farm Folk City Folk Organization, Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood, UBC Farm fundraisers, and the Green Table Society. As well, Vikram and Meeru’s dedication to the work done at UBC resulted in the funding and opening of Vij’s Kitchen, a state-of-the-art culinary learning facility at the University of British Columbia, dedicated to teaching the chefs and nutritionists of the future about ethnic food and cuisine. In 2015, Vikram also donated 120 kilos of food to The Longest Swim—Ben Lecomte’s swim from Tokyo to San Francisco to raise awareness about the state of the world’s oceans.
In June 2015, Vikram and Meeru received honorary Doctorates of Law from Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University and in May 2016, Vikram and Meeru were honoured with Doctorates from the University of British Columbia.
Contact us to learn how Vikram Vij can craft a topic for your audience.