A spoonful of resilience and a dash of talent have helped Megha Kohli become one of India’s best chefs. Get to know her delectable journey better.
When four year old Megha Kohli first dreamed of becoming a chef, ye shayad socha nahi tha ki 30 tak, she’ll be bringing about a revolution! By turning her passion into a delicious profession, Delhi-based Chef Megha has won numerous accolades for her innovative work. Prestigious Times Chef of the year 2020 title ko jeetne se leke the getting listed under Conde Nast Traveller’s 40 under 40 exciting young chefs, Megha keeps shining bright with her culinary talents. Megha is also associated with the Chef Manifesto which is a global body of chefs associated with the United Nations. Par aisa kya hai jo iss self made chef ko itna unique banata hai? It is her love for all things fresh and local!
Kaun kehta hai ki insta-worthy dishes ke liye you only need expensive gourmet ingredients? Ask Megha and she’ll tell you to just take a look around - the best flavours and ingredients toh humare aas paas hi hain! Megha’s journey to becoming head chef at one of Delhi’s most popular restaurants Lavaash By Saby, has been nothing but inspirational. “Main hamesha kitchen mein random cheezein cook kiya karti thi and my family and siblings would be my guinea pigs!” recalls Megha. Her mom recognized her love for cooking bachpan se hi, and inspired Megha to cook formally with on-the-job training at the Oberoi Group of Hotels. In a short while, Megha worked with well known names and came to be known as a promising young chef. But it was her helming Lavaash that really helped Megha reach for the stars with her passion for sustainability and a 100% locally sourced menu.
The fact that Megha explores the many flavours of India with her extensive research of the country’s traditions, could stem from her other childhood desire to be a journalist. “Mujhe books padhne aur articles likhna bohot pasand tha, main ek journalist banna chaahti thi”- adds the star chef. Today, although she has her dream job, the journey towards it wasn’t an easy one. Megha had to fight to find her place in a mostly male dominated space. “Logon ko lagta hai ki main ek ladki hoon isiliye I am not good enough or never will be good enough as a male chef,” she confesses. With her own mother as her biggest inspiration and Chef Sabyasachi Gorai as a mentor, she learnt to demand her effort’s worth both in payment and respect at her workplace. “Maine kabhi bhi difficult situations ko khud pe haavi hone nahi diya hai,” This is the mantra for Megha jo necessary risk lene se nahi darti.
In spite of being a world renowned chef, Megha ki favorite dish unke maa ke saath ki coconut chicken curry hai. Coming back to her family after a long, tiring day in the kitchen is what brings her most joy. But she still knows that India mein ek ladki ke liye financial importance kitni zaroori hai. “It gives you the power to choose to live your life the way you want. Khud ke pairon pe khade hone se zyada liberating and empowering kuch bhi nahi.” she shares with pride. Doesn’t Chef Megha prove that an apron is just a cape put on backwards?
Never change who you are to fit into what you think people want you to be #SunsilkGirlGiri
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