On October 8, food enthusiasts in Bengaluru are in for a treat as four ‘shefs’ celebrate Indian produce and woman power
Aman Dosanj. Aarthi Sampath. Amninder Sandhu. Sherry Mehta.
Four highly skilled and creative chefs cooking one sit-down dinner that celebrates Indian produce and woman power. It promises to be a very interesting evening at The Leela Palace Bengaluru.
Shefs At The Leela showcases the food and personalities of four very different women chefs who bring a whole lot of experience and creativity to the table, while rocking their Indian roots on a whole new culinary level.
New York-based chef, restaurant consultant, food truck expert and TV personality Aarthi Sampath is currently in the news as a judge on MasterChef Tamil. Her unique Indian cooking is known for its robust, bold flavours that hero quality ingredients. She is passionate about raising awareness about how food is crucial to creating equality across the world. “I’m excited to be cooking beside women that have made such a mark in food,” Aarthi tells us. “It’s a unique chance for me to portray my thoughts and ideas. It feels like I’m coming home full circle.” Aarthi will be bringing diners an Indo-Malay laksa, which showcases how Indian food is truly global. “I’m intrigued by the beautiful link Indian cuisine has all over the world; the spice trade, indentured labourers and immigration have created this dish.”
Dubbed “The Girl With Gold In Her Fingers” by iconic chef Marco Pierre White, Amninder Sandhu is an award-winning chef who has represented India on Netflix - The Final Table. She has come to be known as the ambassador for open fire cooking. Amninder believes that diners will be surprised to experience “an amalgamation of four different personalities and characters translated on a plate.” The evening brings a chance to taste her stuffed morels. “This is one of my most popular signature dishes, of which I am very proud.”
Food expert, North West Frontier and Himachali pop-up specialist, and founder of A Girl From The Hills, Sherry Mehta is a favourite with Bollywood celebrities and corporate honchos. She believes platforms such as these are very important to showcase women chefs taking Indian food out into the world. Her Multan ki moth kachori at the dinner will “showcase my roots, and the almost-unheard-of cuisine of United Punjab.”
Aman Dosanj made history as the first British Asian to represent England in football; now she is known for her commitment to educate, connect and tell stories through food. Grounded in the Slow Food movement, she works with organic farmers and producers to create edible adventures through The Paisley Notebook in the Okanagan Valley (British Columbia, Canada). “This event brings together the culinary perspectives of four very different women,” she enthuses. “Each of us has something to add to the discussion of Indian food, no matter our culinary background, geography or citizenship.” Being British Indian and now a Canadian citizen too, Aman is all about third culture cooking. “My Bengali-style sea bass course looks different because I am different, but, when you taste it, you know where its source code is,” she avers. “Each of my dishes is steeped in history, context and personal experiences to tell the stories of those living in the diaspora. And this is not fusion cooking!” She promises diners will be surprised on the evening to see that “Indian food doesn’t need fixing with fancy equipment (like sous vide) or fusion cooking without context; going back to old school, centuries-old wisdom is where the heart of our cuisines lies. And there will be lots of stories from what I do in Canada to tie it all together.”
And, because this is truly a celebration of woman power, the curators of the event are Akanksha Dean, food and travel writer, culinary researcher, independent chef and events specialist (she is also the first Indian chef to train under the renowned Massimo Bottura at Modena, Italy) and Rupali Dean, award-winning journalist, food and travel photographer, and events specialist. Both of them bring their experience in food and travel to play in the curation of this unusual event.
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