About Nikhil Merchant
A resident of Mumbai, India with an Indian background, I come from a land rich in culture and cuisine. The multicultural, cosmopolitan nature of the city absorbed me and my passion for cooking since the age of 12. My career started in Journalism, writing on food and the people behind it for luxury publications globally. My indulgences from some of the best places to eat in the world and picking up techniques from chefs I meet play a big role in my cooking style. I have an inexhaustible penchant for simplifying fine dishes and turning spirits into potent potions, an expression of my culinary sensibilities, picked from my travels and my fervent liaison with the food world. With a proactive transition from gourmand to gastronome, I conceptualized Imli along with like-minded partners Nishit, Ashwini & Himanshu in Los Angeles. Imli is a dining extravaganza which revolutionizes Indian cuisine and its food is designed after sifting through centuries of Indian cooking styles which were handed down to me from my ancestors, elders and culinary masters of traditional Indian kitchens. I was also associated with India’s only fair trade initiative where my efforts connected marginal farmers to markets through fair trade for their sustainability and better living and I help hospitality groups set up F&B projects back in my hometown, Mumbai.