The recent news of the death of 42 year old Ravi Kanagarajah, owner and founder of Ravi Soups, comes as a shock to many. The numerous expressions of grief seen through Facebook posts and messages reflect the impact that Ravi had on the Toronto community. People loved his food, and those that were fortunate to have met him, loved his genuine and caring personality. He will be truly missed.
A few members of the TamilCulture team had the pleasure of interacting with Ravi in the past. Here's how they remember Toronto's 'soup king':
"The interview I did with Ravi was definitely one of the most memorable I've done. He was such a great storyteller, and he had an amazing story to tell. Ravi was forced to leave Sri Lanka and flee to Europe, and worked his way through different countries where he didn't know the language let alone the cuisines. He was just so humble when he answered my question of how he managed to find work and survive- you don't need to know the language to wash dishes, he'd said. And from washing dishes to opening up his own restaurant, Ravi emphasized that he had a certain vision for a way of enjoying food that he didn't want to steer away from; of communal dining and people enjoying food and each others' company - the way people used to enjoy having kool together in Sri Lanka. Ravi Soups came to be as a result of Ravi's passion for creating delicious food and bringing people together and he will be missed dearly."
- Nive Thambithurai, TC Editor
"I was fortunate enough to meet Ravi once while we did the interview with him about his food and story. I was blown away by him - he was generous, hard-working and had a genuine interest in helping others, including his family. As an entrepreneur, I feel inspired because of his story. He started at the bottom and eventually worked his way up until he finally became the owner of three of his own stores. He did all that while raising a family. He had a real passion for food and you could tell by the way the food was prepared at his restaurant. I always eat at the big communal table at his Adelaide location because I remembered why he had it there. He wanted to bring a little piece of Sri Lanka with him to Canada as it was tradition there for everyone in the family to eat together. In Canada, he was hoping that the communal table would encourage strangers to engage in conversation while enjoying his food. His presence will definitely be sorely missed."
- Aravinthan Ehamparam, TC Co-founder