- So who is this guy everyone in Red Deer seems to be talking about?
Possessing a genuine appetite to satisfy the cravings of the hungry, he is a soft-spoken man of few words, preferring instead to let his talent in the kitchen do the talking for him.
Kamalaram [Kamal] Painuly was born in the small village of Doni, India; population 400. Surrounded by lush greenery and fertile farmland, it is a 30 minute drive to nearby Ghansali, which is a central market place for all the surrounding villages. Doni is a stone’s-throw away from Nepal, and yet about 1200 km northwest of Katmandu, which is slightly more than the distance between Red Deer, and Vancouver.
As a young boy, when not playing fanciful games outside, he helped his mother work the farm, while dad held a small government job to help make ends meet. When it was time to eat, Kamal loved to help his mother in their kitchen, cooking family favorites. This is where he first developed an interest in food, and cooking, learning secret techniques from his mom.
At the age of 23, he met a beautiful young lady 2 years his junior, who was soon to become his partner in life. Together, they are raising 3 children; two are intelligent, talented, and gorgeous daughters, who love to help dad in the restaurant when not studying, or spending time daydreaming about their futures. The youngest, a curious lad who loves video games and paper airplanes, spends his days in school learning multiplication - arithmetic being his favourite subject. After school, Shinchan, his chocolate-brown teddy-bear, keeps the 3rd-grader company in the restaurant while his parents and sisters take care of the business.
Soon after their traditional Indian wedding, Kamal began to pursue his passion for cooking, all the while dreaming of one day taking his family to a far away, and magical land called Canada.
His first professional gig was at Sunnshell Hotel, a 5 star hotel in Mumbai, where he trained for 3 years to become a professional chef. From there, he prepared the finest cuisine for world travelers aboard a vacation cruise liner, where he spent 4 years traversing the oceans of the world.
Dubai was his next port of call where he became a lead chef at the Holiday Inn for 3 years, until one day a customer, who later became a good friend, helped Kamal make his way to Canada.
Upon arrival in his new home, he took whatever job he could, finding sustained employment in various restaurants. With his family still back in India, long hours at work, and limited English skills, loneliness made life difficult. However, his fervent yearning to own his own restaurant made the loneliness bearable.
Providing for his family in India, while trying to support himself here, made money extremely scarce. Saving every penny he could, over time Kamal was eventually able to bring his family to Canada. The family back together again, and able to save more money, his future looked bright. And then came COVID-19. “Social-distancing” became the new reality.
While working in a local restaurant, the opportunity his thoughts had been obsessed with, became a real possibility - the chance to own his own restaurant. Although the timing was not good, risking all, he jumped at the chance. Using his limited savings, and a little help from family and friends, he opened his doors in the fall of 2020. “Indian BBQ and Grill” was born.
A short time later, the worst news a new entrepreneur could receive was released. Due to the pandemic, restaurants were forced to close their doors. Some permanently. The dream of owning his own restaurant suddenly became a nightmare. There was a real possibility he could lose everything he had worked, and saved so long for. A family to support, bills to pay, and dwindling funds, meant drastic measures may have to be made.
Help was soon on its way.
A small group of Canadian friends, determined to see him succeed, put their talents and skills to work. His faith restored, Kamal’s business is building momentum, and his family’s future looks brighter than ever.