Work Life / Business Profile: Food Network Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan

Business Profile: Food Network Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan

Work Life Mar 22, 2015

Indian Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan Aims To Revolutionize Indian flavours To Make Indian Food More Accessible To Foodies

In South Asian families, it's typical for children to pursue careers in medical, engineering, or business fields. Recently, however, there is a growing acceptance of pursuing careers in other fields. One of these successful careers, especially nowadays, is boosting foodie culture. Culinary pursuits are popular. Amateurs and professionals all over the world are Instagramming their dishes and the recipes they've tried, and they're inspired by a wide and diverse range of celebrity chefs. Among the list of these celebrity chefs is Maneet Chauhan, who is making her name in the culinary and hospitality industry worldwide.

Early Beginnings

Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, Chauhan began her culinary career after completing a degree at the WelcomGroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration in Manipal, India — which is India’s leading institute for the best culinary and hotel management. According to her official website, she earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel management and then went on to intern with India’s world-class hotels, including The Taj Group and Oberoi Hotels. After migrating to the United States, she attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and graduated with high honours.

Conquering the Rest of America

After gaining her experience on the East Coast, Chauhan worked as an executive chef, successfully leading a group of 40 male chefs at the Vermillion Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. At the Vermillion, along with fellow chef Rohini Dey and her kitchen teams, Chauhan worked to develop Indian-Latin fusion cuisine in Chicago. As a result, she received many accolades, including Chicago Magazine’s World's Best New Restaurant, Esquire’s Restaurant of The Month, and Wine Enthusiast’s Best New Restaurant in the U.S. Vermillion then opened in New York, and Chauhan was nominated for the Best Import in New York by Time Out magazine.

Laying Entrepreneurial Roots

After leading the Vermillion Restaurant in New York and Chicago for eight years, Chauhan launched a new venture. She founded Indie Culinaire, an ultramodern hospitality and culinary company. She established herself as a successful entrepreneur and became well known in the culinary and hospitality industry. Later, according to the Food Network, she was the first Indian female chef to compete in Iron Chef America and she went on to compete in The Next Iron Chef.

Current Success

An inspirational figure, Chauhan is currently a regular judge in the famous Food Network series Chopped, which has been nominated for a Critic’s Award. Chef Chauhan has also received the prestigious James Beard Award.

Along with her frequent presence in the show Chopped, Chauhan is now an established figure and an authority when it comes to Indian cooking and spices. To add another feather to her hat, she was also invited to cook for the first-ever Indiaspora Inaugural Ball, which honoured President Re-elect Barack Obama. Not only does she support culinary education, but she is also a prominent figure working as a mentor for aspiring graduate students at the National Restaurant Association’s ProStart Program. Plus, she is a philanthropist active in many organizations, including CRY (Child Rights and You) and P.A.V.E. (Partnerships for Action, Voices For Empowerment).

Recently, Chauhan also published a new cook book entitled Flavours of the World, which focuses on her interpretation of global cuisine with an Indian twist. She has also opened a new venture in Nashville, Tennessee — Chauhan Ale and Masala House — at the corner of 12th and Grundy, which invites guests to explore and taste tantalizing dishes such as amritsari fish masala and aloo chips and kale pakoras.

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Nidhi Shrivastava

Nidhi Shrivastava


Nidhi Shrivastava (@shnidhi) is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department at Western University and works as an adjunct professor in at Sacred Heart University. She holds double masters in South Asian Studies and Women's Studies. Her research focuses on Hindi film cinema, censorship, the figure o...