Where it began?
My mother encouraged my experiments from rock solid cakes to soggy bhels. She allowed me a free hand in her kitchen and her shop – Gruhini Vastu Bhandar in Kolhapur, where she continues to make some amazing sweet and savoury snacks, spice blends and goodies on a daily basis.
Roasting spices, quality checking the finished products (obviously by tasting most of it) and collecting cash at the shop were my favourite pastimes and I have well and truly grown up with spices!!
My studies took me to America, where I explored other international cuisines. Finally settling in Australia, where I discovered many of the authentic asian flavours and the amazing produce of Australia as well.
Where it all changed?
My experience on MasterChef Australia was fabulous and it has made me a better cook. Living and breathing nothing but food for six months with the judges, celebrity chefs and fellow contestants is an experience you cannot buy. I learnt new techniques and cuisines, and refined my own style of cooking. Working with some of the big names like Heston Blumenthal, Donavon Cook, George Colambaris, Curtis Stone and Shannon Bennet taught me the much.
From running a restaurants, selecting the freshest ingredients to designing a perfect menu to matching wines with my food. I worked and served my food in some of the best restaurants in the world like Oceana in Dubai, Green House in Perth and Atlantic in Melbourne. These opportunities are hard to come by and have provided me with necessary experience, chefs only dream about.
Most of all, I made incredible friends during the show. As the judges keep saying, “your real journey starts after the show” and indeed that is true. My MasterChef journey was a pit-stop to refuel and recharge on my food journey and I am fully equipped to tackle the road ahead.
Where am I now?
I have continued my love affair with food and am enjoying every minute of it including visiting places, meeting people via a variety of events and media engagements.
My first cookbook, Modern Indian, was published by New Holland Publication and is available in stores now.
My television series, Stay Home Chef, where I share delectable creations that fire up your tastebuds, is airing on TLC India.
I am leading a food tour through the most fascinating food destinations in India, with Masterchef Travels.
I am open to new adventures and my incredible ride continues….