QUEEN OF FLAVOURS
NANDITA KARAN, 36 The Lalit, Chandigarh
She loves everything her mom cooks. A foodie since childhood who would not miss trying out any recipe she saw in a magazine, Karan, in her 15-year culinary journey, has worked with major hotels like The Oberoi Rajvilas in Udaipur, Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, Hilton London Gatwick Airport and Sheraton Hotel in Australia. “During my college days, while studying at IHM, Patna, in 2002, I wanted to join the front office. However, it was during the industrial training in New Delhi’s Ashok Group of Hotels that I became fascinated with the way chefs worked. The rest as they say is history,” she says.
Whiz in the Kitchen Specialising in Italian and Continental cuisine, this chef does not like the fact that when it comes to Italian, most people cannot think beyond pastas and pizza. “For me, it is all about getting rustic and home-style Italian cooking to this region.” Region's Response Karan says it’s a misconception that people in his part of the country are averse to cuisines other than Punjabi. “I have met many foodies who are happy to explore varied culinary delights,” she says. Her Philosophy “I believe in simple and fresh ingredients, specially green vegetables, which have their own unique flavours and identity. The key is to balance them with minimum spices and herbs, just to enhance their taste,” she says.
Five Years On She would like to explore hidden cuisines, forgotten methods, lost trends and old techniques of cooking from different regions of India. “Maybe I will write a book on them or present them in a television show.” My Kitchen Idol Chef Jamie Oliver.