Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Business & Economics Entrepreneurship


A Chef's One-Way Ticket to Canada with Indian Spices in His Suitcase

by (author) Vikram Vij

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Mar 2017
Entrepreneurship, Business, Personal Success
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Winner of the 2018 Taste Canada Awards - Culinary Narratives
Vikram Vij, one of Canada’s great chefs, shares his story of the trials and triumphs in building a world-renowned food empire

Fragrant with the smells of cumin, turmeric, fennel, and cloves, Vij reveals the story of Vikram Vij, one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs and entrepreneurs. Co-owner of the world-famous Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, his story is a true rags-to-riches tale of a college dropout from northern India who made it to Europe’s temples of high cuisine, then with a one-way ticket bound for Canada, found fame serving some of the world’s most transcendent Indian cuisine. Vij’s Restaurant, originally a fourteen-seat establishment known for its extraordinary flavours and spice blends, along with a firm no-reservation policy, received accolades from restaurant critics and patrons alike.

A culinary journey that began in India as a boy enjoying the praise of visitors for his chai and biscuits, Vikram’s passion for Indian cooking and his lifelong mission to bring awareness to the culture he left behind have fueled his tireless drive in building a world-renowned food empire. Driven to succeed, Vikram realized his dream to launch five major initiatives under the Vij’s brand by age fifty, but with challenges and sacrifices along the way.

For the first time, Vikram opens up about his struggles with prejudice, his mentors’ lasting lessons, and the painful demise of his marriage—both the successes and the failures that have shaped and sharpened one of Canada’s most unique and revered culinary talents.

About the author

Vikram Vij was born in India and grew up in Amritsar and Mumbai. He studied hotel management in Salzburg, Austria, before moving to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel. He opened the original 14-seat Vij's Restaurant in Vancouver in 1994.

Vikram Vij's profile page


  • Winner, Taste Canada Awards - Culinary Narratives

Editorial Reviews

“A terrific and deeply personal culinary journey from a great chef.” Anthony Bourdain

“Vikram has forged his life and career through hard work, the weight of real risk, a natural sense and flair for Indian flavours and above all else the character and personal charm to keep people flooding to his restaurants. Game well played, my friend and colleague.” Mark McEwan, celebrity chef, restaurateur, and bestselling author of Great Food at Home

“An inspiring and moving memoir! Vikram is a passionate chef and entrepreneur who has redefined Indian cuisine and built a first-class food empire.” Arlene Dickinson, bestselling author of All In and Persuasion

“An incredibly honest story of an Indian immigrant’s tough entrepreneurial road to success in Canada. Vij captures the essence of the very determined, passionate, talented, and charismatic life of celebrity chef Vikram Vij.” Peter and Chris Neal, founders of Neal Brothers Foods

Other titles by Vikram Vij

Related lists