A tête-à-tête with Chef Ria Pande

1. Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Lucknow and studied there for my MBA and MCA. Since I was 15 I had a creative streak in me. I used to make handicrafts and even
sell them. My parents encouraged me to nurture my hobby of making things from jute, mud, etc into a business. After I got married, I moved
abroad with my husband who is a chef. I worked in various industries, including hospitality and real estate, while I was away from India, which was
a great experience.

After the birth of our son, we moved back and have lived in many cities all over the country. Since then I have been working as a freelance interior designer along with being a chef!

2. Since when have you been creating magic with your cooking?

Cooking has been in the family. My mom is an excellent cook and it passed on to me – although I took to cooking regularly only post-marriage. In the last 14 years, my cooking has evolved at many levels.

3. What do you love about cooking?

I think food cooked with right attitude and passion satisfies a soul; stomach can be filled by any food but soul-satisfying food is what gives the real pleasure – it brings a smile to the person eating and cooking it! That’s what I enjoy most about making food – putting my heart and soul into it. Good music playing in the background definitely enhances the taste of my cooking though

Lasuni Palak, one of Ria’s most popular dishes

4. Which cuisines do you enjoy cooking the most?

I grew up in North India and hence my style of    cooking is heavily influenced by the flavors of    authentic North Indian food – something that passed    onto me from my mom and grandmother.

 5. What is the best compliment you have received    for your cooking?

It has to be from my friends who often say that my  food reminds them of their mom’s or grandmother’s  cooking. They find comfort in my food and that means  a lot to me.

My husband and my son are the best critics of my  cooking which helps me immensely in perfecting my recipes.

6. What do you do in your free time?

Since HolaChef happened I have hardly had any free time  I still continue to work on making handicrafts and hence my hands are always full with work.

When I do have free time, I like to spend it with my friends and family; especially my husband and son.

7. Do you enjoy cooking for HolaChef?

I absolutely love cooking for HolaChef – it’s a great platform for me to do something I enjoy. I get to decide my menu and recipes, which is a delight for any chef. I like the fact that at HolaChef we rarely repeat the same dish twice (unless it’s on public demand, of course).

Thanks to my husband who introduced me to HolaChef – it’s been a fun experience and I am excited to be a part of it.

8. What is the best thing about cooking for HolaChef?

It’s because of HolaChef that people now recognize me as a chef, which is quite thrilling for me. I had just moved to Mumbai when HolaChef happened and it was an opportunity I am glad I took!

Panchratna Sabzi – a sumptuous delicacy by Ria

 9. Have you tried food from HolaChef (made by another chef?)

Yes, I ordered a meal by Chef Rachna  and it was really delicious. I plan to order more 

 10. Anything else that you would like  to share with us?

When I look back at my life so far, I  feel that it’s been quite a journey. From  being an entrepreneur at a young age to  having worked in hospitality and real  estate abroad to coming back to India  and being an entrepreneur again and  now being a chef – it’s been great! Thanks to HolaChef for being a unique opportunity for many chefs like me who now have a platform to spread smiles with the magic of their cooking!

You may also like…

4 Responses

  1. Mudita Bajpai says:

    Great going…chef Ria… it’s a great taste that we experience in your dishes…
    Also love your kachoris.. which are yummm… and salads… way to go… good luck…

  2. Mudita Bajpai says:

    Well done chef Ria… your dishes have an excellent flavour… and we specially love the kachoris too… aling with the lasooni palak… absolutely yummm…
    Good luck to u….

  3. Mudita says:

    Well done chef Ria… your dishes have an excellent flavour… and we specially love the kachoris too… aling with the lasooni palak… absolutely yummm food… want more
    remind me of my mother…. sems like mommy is here…
    Good luck to u….

  4. ritambhara says:

    wishing you all the very best in life and success in your future endeavors!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>