Food is a universal necessity. But it is only human beings who strive to transform food into something more. And while in our culture we have always seen our moms in the kitchen cooking something to bring a smile on our faces, this generation of chefs is here to prove you wrong by not only breaking traditional stereotypes but also shattering myths about Indian food at the global platform and at the local scene here at home by presenting dishes that are so much more than the everyday dal-roti. Eating is a necessity but cooking is an art. These young Indian chefs are changing the food scene all over the world:
1. Nihal Raj
Nihal Raj, or as he is lovingly called, “Kicha” has become undoubtedly not only the cutest but also the youngest chef of India, Nihal’s claim to fame came when he struck a deal with Facebook Inc. who acquired the non-exclusive rights to his signature dish “Mickey Mouse Mango ice-cream” and paid him $2000. This little guy is a perfect combination of creativity, innovation, and a streak of adorableness and these very qualities have managed to grab the world’s attention. He also appeared as a guest on ‘The Ellen Show’ where he cooked for Ellen Degeneres and the audience. He is truly the Youngest Indian chef till now!
2. Pooja Dhingra
Pooja Dhingra is the reason today you can eat the delicious macaroons in India. She had always loved baking but realized that it was her true passion when she joined law school and left it to start a journey in the culinary profession. Pooja is the owner of the wonderful bakery chain ‘Le 15 Patisserie’, this pastry chef certainly knows how to don multiple hats as besides being a chef she is an entrepreneur and also has tried her hand in writing by writing the book ‘The Big Book of Treats’ and now even has a podcast with her friends called ‘No Sugar Coat’. Pooja is also a favorite of the Bollywood industry as she has been frequently spotted with celebrities such as Alia Bhatt and Sonam Kapoor
3. Neha Joshi
Neha Joshi for sure is an experimenter not only with her food but also with her careers, Neha started out as a teacher, and then she tried her hand in writing by becoming a journalist, finally finding her passion in food [just like us ;)]. This young Indian chef started off her journey at a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris and currently works at Le Patisserie in Mumbai. Neha surely likes to innovate as she helped develop a Portuguese dessert while at her time at O Pedro in Mumbai. Finally, to put it in her words ‘She can make her cake and eat it too!’.
4. THOMAS ZACHARIAS
This one likes to explore traditional flavors that are usually unknown to a large audience and is always searching for new flavors and recipes. Thomas’s curiosity to learn what actually made food tasty- his grandmom’s magic or techniques and flair, is what encouraged him to become a professional chef, and he is currently working as a senior executive chef at the Bombay Canteen. He hopes to create the experience of having food an enjoyable one.
5. Saransh Goila
Brought up in Delhi, in a middle-class family, Saransh has always been a fan of cooking and, with time, Saransh soon began to be known as ‘the boy who cooks’ in the family. Interestingly, Saransh was equally interested in theater but decided to become a chef, thinking of it as “a little more professional” career. After gaining a degree in culinary arts he was looking for opportunities and that’s when he won the ‘Food Food Maha Challenge’ and got his show ‘Roti Rasta
6. Priyam Chatterjee
Priyam has made India proud not only with his unique twists to Indian food but also by becoming the first Indian chef to be awarded the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite
7. Archit Subramaniam
Archit Subramaniam, a chef from God’s own country is extremely passionate about cooking and believes that environmentalism and cooking should go hand-in-hand and he follows the mantra of ‘sustainable-cooking’ at the kitchen, “Rooh”, after gaining some culinary experience from Sri Lanka and Peru, this anime fan decided to bring the fusion of these cuisines to New Delhi.