The legendary Copper Chimney celebrates 50 glorious years of truly awesome food and amazing service. Indeed, this iconic restaurant which started off as one of Mumbai’s most popular eatery, has spread its roots in Delhi and now Europe. Set up in 1972 in Mumbai’s elite neighborhood Worli by J K Kapoor, a top Bollywood film distributor and food connoisseur, Copper Chimney was an instant rage right from the beginning, especially amongst the filmi and elite crowd. The legendary Dilip Kumar who was a close friend of J K Kapoor inaugurated the first Copper Chimney way back in 1972. Today Copper Chimney still retains its position of being one of the most talked about restaurants in the Indian culinary map. The ambience is tastefully done and classy, the food is super yum especially its iconic signature dishes and the service is absolutely super. Sumita Chakraborty, Editor-in-chief of TheGlitz caught up with Mr. Reetesh Shukla, Vice President, Copper Chimney to find out more about this legendary restaurant Copper Chimney.
Congratulations! Copper Chimney celebrates 51 glorious years which is a huge milestone. Could you tell us about the journey started by Copper Chimney by your founder JK Kapoor?
The legendary journey of 51 years of Copper Chimney started with the journey of Mr JK Kapur, our founder. In the year 1947 during the partition, amongst many migrating across the border from Undivided India to Delhi, was a young man J.K. Kapur. At the time, little did anyone know that the memories this young man carried across the border would lead him to the start of a 51-year old strong legacy – of the now legendary Copper Chimney.
For 25 years, Mr. Kapur held these food memories of his years growing up close, keeping them intact and undimmed in his heart and mind. The taste of his mother’s homemade “maa ki dal” cooked overnight on a small homemade “chula” fired with coal, in the backyard of his house, was one of the many dishes from his youth that remained with him throughout his life.
In 1972, Mr. J.K. Kapur put together a team with whom he shared the secret recipes that he had been meticulously perfecting in his home kitchen, recreating the food inspired from his roots down to every detail over the past 25 years.
These Chefs whom he trained to be Master Chefs called Ustaads, internalized the secrets and mastered the art of no compromises when it came to ingredients, cooking techniques and flavours inspired by the dishes of an undivided India – from Peshawar to Delhi.
Everything was produced from scratch, each curry was simmered for a precise number of hours, each grill was marinated in its own home-made secret spice mix, saffron-scented biryanis were layered with perfection and each bread was skillfully handcrafted.
And thus in November 1972, began an exciting journey – the one of the now legendary Copper Chimney. And the rest, as they say, is history. Today, Copper Chimney is considered a signpost in the nation’s Indian culinary landscape and an iconic brand that has carved a household name over the last 50 years serving four generations of diners, from Bollywood celebrities to India ‘s most prominent families and more.
I believe there is a Bollywood angle too in Copper Chimney’s journey… I believe Dilip Kumar laid the foundation stone – could you tell us about it?
As a film distributor & producer, JK Kapur met many iconic stars during the evergreen black-and-white cinema era, forming lifelong friendships with many of them. The late Shri Dilip Kumar was one of his close friends. The first Copper Chimney in Worli, 1972 was inaugurated by the legendary actor, the late Shri Dilip Kumar.
What are the challenges faced in this journey? – Copper Chimney has over the years, adjusted the brand philosophy to suit the new times.
Copper Chimney has been serving millions of patrons over the years. The core of our philosophy is our food. We believe in consistently serving best quality dishes made fresh using high-quality ingredients sourced from select suppliers. This has been unwavering since its inception. However, we have taken a contemporary route with respect to the ambience and the restaurant interior design to suit the modern times but with food the quality and promise to deliver the best product has been the same since 1972.
There is so much competition in the food and hospitality business, how do you tackle it and stay ahead of the competition?
The core to our philosophy is our food and our patrons. We believe in consistently serving the best quality dishes to our customers made fresh using fresh high quality ingredients sourced from select suppliers. This has been unwavering since inception. Our unforgettable flavours and commitment to deliver quality product keeps us ahead of the competition.
Has Copper Chimney traversed to other cities? Is it only Mumbai-centric, if so, why?
Being a specialist Indian food and beverage brand, Copper Chimney has a clear vision of taking Indian flavors across India as well as overseas. In the upcoming financial year, our primary expansion focus will be in the Delhi NCR region. While Mumbai remains our brand’s stronghold, enjoying the love and recognition of our patrons, our commitment to expansion throughout India remains unwavering. Furthermore, we’ve ventured into Europe with a presence in London and are delighted to share our exciting expansion plans into Malaysia, where a new outlet in Kuala Lumpur is in the works.
What are the three milestones in Copper Chimney’s journey that you are especially proud of?
Every step of the way the Brand has been proud of its journey.
If there is one food that Copper Chimney can personify as a signature dish, which would it be?
Murg Makhani & Chelo Kabab
What are your future endeavors regarding Copper Chimney?
There are nine Copper Chimney outposts in Mumbai and 15 across India, making for no small feat. “We’ve now entered Europe in Westfield Mall, which is one of the busiest malls.