RICHA JOHRI, 37 Corporate Chef, The Whistling Duck, Chandigarh and Delhi
Passion for food is in her blood claims Richa Johri, who inherited culinary skills from her grandmother and mother. “They could make magic with the most simple ingredients such as drumstick flower, pumpkin leaves or squash roots leaves and blossoms. My mother started a catering institute for women in the 1980s,” says Johri. It was the pressure to keep up the legacy that pushed her towards the profession. An Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Aurangabad graduate, where Johri specialised and topped in Indian cuisine, she started as a management trainee with the Taj Hotels. She has ever since worked and trained under renowned chefs in India, Hong Kong and Mauritius.
New Beginnings When she started conceptualising her European-styled restaurant Whistling Duck four years ago, she spent endless days and nights exploring local cuisine. “We realised that the chicken loving capital of North India was missing on a lot of different flavours from across the globe. Whistling Duck has never done the typical cliché dishes and has introduced dishes from Indonesia, Morocco, Vietnam, Colombia and Brazil to the city,” says the chef who wants to be the first Indian woman chef to get a Michelin star.
What Next “One day I would love to cook for the soldiers at Siachen Glacier since they never get the luxury of dining like us—sitting in a cafe in a normal environment,” she says.
The Dish in My Plate Liver Pate. I always judge a chef by this dish.
My Kitchen Idol Chef Marco