How did you become interested in your major?
Nothing inspires me like being in a kitchen; the colors, textures,
flavors and sounds I encounter enchant me constantly. I truly believe
the kitchen is a place where one can learn not only about food but about
life. My culinary voyage so far has not only made me stronger but also
more humble. Every day brings new possibilities and innumerable opportunities to learn and grow. It is my hunger for knowledge and deep love for vibrant colors that keeps me interested day after day.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
After my granny—my best friend and the one who first introduced me to
the magic of the kitchen—passed away, I began to cook for her every day.
I would sit by her photograph and talk to her like she was really right
there and share my plate with her. I felt that sharing food and the act
of cooking kept us connected on a deeper level. Initially I cooked each
day to stay connected to my best friend. The event became increasingly
joyous and fulfilling, and eventually became a large part of my life. My
granny not only drew me to the kitchen but she is also the reason I
took my passion to the next level and still chase my dreams.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
Moving to New York
all the way from India was not an easy task. I was thrilled and
intensely excited for the opportunity. It was a dream come true. But I
was still slightly apprehensive and scared for the big change to come.
It was leaping into the void, completely unknown territory. I wasn't
sure what to expect, but within a minute of setting foot on campus, I
knew I was home.
Why did you choose the CIA?
When I was 17 I got my first job in a kitchen. I was excited and eager
to learn but not entirely sure how to take my passion to another level. I
wanted to find a group of people who all shared a passion, talented
individuals who could teach and inspire me. My chef could see that the
kitchen was where my heart was and he told me, "If you want to be a chef
someday, go to the CIA" and that was it. From that moment on, the CIA
became the goal because I had faith in my chef and he promised me it
would take me where I needed to be. The CIA really is the best thing that ever happened to me.
What do you like best about the CIA?
I wake up every day excited for class, and still iron my chef coat
every morning with a smile from ear to ear. When your classroom is a
kitchen, life really does seem perfect. I have met some of the most
inspiring and passionate individuals through my time at this school. We
really are lucky to have so many passionate professionals under one
What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
I have always believed that food truly heals the body, mind, and
spirit. It is my dream to help people to use food to heal their bodies
through practices of conscious eating, mindfulness, and the art of
eating to balance your chakras. “Peace, Love, and Light” for all.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
If your passion lies in the kitchen and you are willing to chase your dreams despite the occasional bumps in the road, this is the place for you. The chefs
are dedicated and inspiring. They will teach you more than you think
possible about the kitchen and about life. For anyone with a deep love
for the industry, this is home.