Affectionately known as "the Prince of soup," Ravi Kanagarajah has passed away after suffering a stroke on Friday. The owner of the popular Ravisoups restaurants was 42 years old. He leaves behind wife Tharmini Kandasamy and their four children.
Kanagarajah first made a name for himself at the now-defunct Mildred Pierce where he obtained his soupy sobriquet. The talented chef then launched Ravisoups (322 Adelaide W, at Peter, 647-435-8365, ravisoup.com) back in 2007 in what used to be the club district. Rave reviews weren't far behind. A second on Queen West (1128 Queen W, at Beaconsfield, 416-538-7284,) and another further out on Dundas (2535 Dundas W, at Jerome, 416-769-7284) soon followed. The family-run business has every intention of continuing.
"Ravi spent the last few years teaching me everything he knew about the restaurant," says his brother Suresh Kanagarajah. "All the recipes, the little secrets. Nothing will change."
"When I received the call on Friday of his passing, I was in total disbelieve," says Donna Dooher, one of the founder of Mildred Pierce and currently the co-owner of Mildred's Temple Kitchen (templekitchen.com) on Hanna Street in Liberty Village.
"He was just 19 years-old when he came to work with us. He started as a dishwasher and quickly made his way into the kitchen. For more years than we care to remember, Ravi was not only the soup master at Mildred Pierce but the king of the line at brunch. Nobody could touch his pancakes!
"We all encouraged him to break out on his own and open RaviSoups and he did to great acclaim. He had an amazing palette and understood the relationship of ingredients and cooking techniques, spices and seasoning. He had an infectious grin and a big heart. We'll mourn his loss for many years to come."
The family will receive visitors from 5 to 9 pm on both Saturday April 6 and Sunday April 7 at the Ogden Funeral Home at 4164 Sheppard East.
Update (04/02/2013 10:01 AM): This story has been updated to include comments from Donna Dooher.