She’s Got the Chops

Last Bite Maneet Chauhan

 

M

aneet Chauhan’s passion for all things culinary started at a young age. In her birthplace of India, she graduated at the top of her class at the country’s leading culinary and hotel management school, Manipal University’s Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration.

After interning in some of the finest kitchens in India, she came to the U.S. to attend the Culinary Institute of America, from which she graduated with high honors.

Following eight years leading the kitchens of Vermilion in both New York City and Chicago, Chef Chauhan ventured out on her own. Her first cookbook, Flavors of My World, was released in 2013. The following year, she opened Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville, Tennessee.

Chef Chauhan is now a full-time judge on the Food Network show “Chopped,” which has been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award and granted her the honor of receiving the prestigious James Beard Award of Excellence.

Even with all that going on, Chef Chauhan took a few minutes to answer some questions for Sizzle.

What made you want to become a chef?

Truthfully, my love for food and the different flavors, styles, traditions and stories that are tied to it.

What’s your favorite cooking implement?

A spoon! Not only can I peel ginger, but I can use it to stir and taste!

What’s one dish you think everyone should know how to make?

A French omelet.

What food trend are you most excited about?

Traditional cooking techniques, such as fermentation, that are becoming mainstream again.

What food trend are you totally over?

Bacon in everything! It has an important role in the culinary field but that doesn’t mean we should put it on every dish created.

What would be your best one-sentence advice to aspiring chefs?

Don’t become a chef because it seems glamorous, become a chef because you have a passion for the craft.

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