There’s no love as sincere as the love of food, and there’s no better language to express love other than food. We proudly bring to you Chef Gayatri Peshawaria, the queen of Gourmet. A well known name in the culinary industry, Gayatri is a chef, an educator and a foodpreneur.
First dish is always close to a chef’s heart, which one was yours and any special memory of it.
My mother’s Marble Cake is a childhood favourite that she taught me to bake when I was just 8. My fondest memory is returning home from school to the warm, welcoming fragrance of freshly baked marble cake.
Please tell us about your journey
I studied Journalism & Mass Communications at St. Xavier’s College, Bombay after which I worked as Feathers Writer with India’s first food & wine magazine called UpperCrust. I’ve trained with Chef Nikhil Mittal of Nik Bakers‘, Chandigarh.
Following this, I also studied Revenue Management for Hospitality from Vedatya, Gurgaon following which I wrote a research paper on my company and the importance of food education. I studied organic farming at Everything Organic Nursery, Nepal. I’ve also studied Ayurveda with Dr. Arun Sharma in Bhagsu Nag, McLeod Gunj.
Currently, I’m part of Chefs’ Manifesto, a UN organization that has about 500 chefs from all around the world who promote The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Apart from that I am Chef Educator at Gayatri’s Gourmet, a food education company that I started 5 years ago.
Please tell us about Gayatri’s Gourmet
Gayatri’s Gourmet, a food education company that I started 5 years ago. We collaborate with schools & colleges to impart certified farm to fork food education in a pleasurable environment. So far over 1000 children have been certified across 5 schools.
How do you connect with food?
My food philosophy is all about eating local, seasonal, sustainable food that’s good for you and for the planet. I’m passionate about food history & migration.
My cooking experience comes from my family recipes, those of my mother & my nani. My Grandpa was from Peshawar, I grew up with stories of migrations of our ancestors & the influence that had on the food we eat today. I believe every chef must master their mother cuisine as it’s their first connection with food.
How have your roots influenced you ?
Our roots impact our journey.My Grandpa was from Peshawar, Pakistan. As an 8 year old, he would take me to his office in the old city of Amritsar. We loved eating together – from kulchas, tandoori chicken, jalebis. Dada loved food and most of our conversations were food centric. He would narrate stories of our ancestors, their migrations and how that influences the way we eat even today.
Although I haven’t traveled to Japan, but I love Japanese food for it’s freshness, simplicity and health. It’s a cuisine I hope to learn someday
Who has been your role model?
Anthony Bourdain, hands on. After watching his show No Reservations, many times over, I wanted to be like him – a chef who travels.
A City close to heart for its food?
It would have to be “Mumbai “. I’ve lived there for years. My enamored memories include eating simple, yet the most flavoursome food in Bombay’s Irani cafes like Britannia & Co. I specifically recommend the Chicken Berry Pulao, Salli Chicken & Pallonji’s Raspberry Soda!
What all hardships did you face ?
As a 21 year old, after I graduated I wanted to go to culinary school. However, back in the day, chefs did not enjoy the superstar status they currently do. Being a “bawarchi” was not considered the most ‘appropriate’ job for a woman. Professional kitchens, too, were mostly male dominated. Now, though, it’s great to see chefs getting recognized with the proliferation in the food media.
I don’t think I have accomplished much, yet! So I can’t answer this question. I will consider myself somewhat ‘achieved’ if I can cook as beautifully as my mom and nani.
1 Mom’s marble cake
2 Golden Temple ka Karah Prasaad
3 Nani ke haath ki kheer
Chocolate or caramel
Chocolate. Any day
Street food or fine dining
I want both!!
What according to you is the essence of food
The essence of food is the soul of the chef, the love, those emotions that the food carries. The amount of love and tenderness that goes into making a dish is what makes a dining experience incredible. That is how people connect to food. Food is not a commodity, it’s life force, it’s sustenance, nourishment and an expression of love.
Your favorite ingredient from the Indian kitchen
Your favorite International cuisine