Vikram Vij was born in India 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.
It was five years later, in September 1994, when Vikram opened Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, BC. In early 1995, his wife, Meeru Dhalwala, joined him and the two began collaborating on the menu. Vikram became a certified sommelier from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, and is passionate about pairing wines with his cuisine.
In 2004, Vikram and Meeru opened up a second restaurant and market called Vij’s Rangoli. The market sells Vij’s Inspired Indian Cuisine, a line of prepackaged gourmet curries, which are based on popular recipes from Vij’s Restaurant. In order to keep up with the growing demand for the packaged meals in BC, and to expand the availability of the products across Canada, a purpose-built food production facility in Surrey, BC, was constructed in early 2011.
Vikram is past president and active member of the Chef’s Table Society of British Columbia, which is dedicated to supporting innovative and sustainable food programs involving chefs, producers and others working in the local food industry. With the help of many members of the Chef’s Table Society, Vikram and fellow BC chef Robert Clark spearheaded the 2nd Canadian Chefs’ Congress on Vancouver Island, BC. The 2010 focus was “Oceans for Tomorrow”. Additionally, Vikram has been involved with Farm Folk City Folk Organization, Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood, UBC Farm fundraisers and the Green Table Society. His work as president of the Cambie Village Business Association and contributing chef to the Vancouver Food Vendor Pilot Project has helped support the growth of local business in Vancouver. Vikram is a passionate supporter of the arts in the Indo-Canadian community, and lends his support to related events and organizations such the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society.
Vikram was a guest judge on Top Chef Canada in 2011, and has been invited back for the 2012 season. In June 2011, the BC Food Processors Association honoured Vikram with the Rising Star Award. In October 2011, he was awarded The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Pacific Region’s Hospitality and Tourism category. Along with Meeru, Vikram has penned two cookbooks: Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, (which won the Cordon d'Or Gold Ribbon International Cookbook Award), and Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey.
Vikram and Meeru live in Vancouver with their two daughters.