Pop-Up Chef

Veena Patni

SAN FRANCISCO

About Veena Patni

I am well versed in different cuisines and in creating sumptuous dishes for the discerning palate. I enjoy sharing the secrets of vegan and vegetarian cooking and my own recipes with fellow aficionados. I am also a fan of farmer’s market fresh produce and always find ways to incorporate different fruits and vegetables in my cooking to create healthy and delicious meals for everyone. Being born and brought up in a small town and being a part of a large joint family in India comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Growing up in a family where three generation lived together, I am used to eating diverse food such as spicier versions preferred by younger generation and lighter and non-spicy versions required for the mature generation. On top of that, every festival has its own delicacies and dedicated dishes. Every season has special dishes suited for its weather, and every ache and pain has its own remedy. These were my food adventures growing up although I did not step in the kitchen until I moved to the United States of America, other than making the occasional tea chai. I am a self-taught cook, I only started cooking after I came to United States. In my early days, I used to miss the luxury of having maids and cooks in the house but soon I started to enjoy cooking and no sooner I expanded my horizons and started exploring multinational cuisine. As English was not my language I could barely speak or understand English. I took English classes at the adult education center and there I found my first student. My instructor became my first student and enjoyed learning Vegan cooking from me. This gave start to my first ever cooking class in this country. As time went on, I learned both cooking delicious meals and a beautiful language. Being vegetarian and a mother, I wanted my son to enjoy all type of vegetarian food, so I learned multinational cuisines. As my taste palate grew, my interest in cooking with exotic fruits and vegetables grew as well, and I started venturing out into grilling and creating simple but colorful recipes. There is a misconception that, vegetarians do not get full nourishment but in my cooking, I make sure to incorporate all the possible vitamins and proteins needed for a healthy mind and body. It is my personal belief that food plays a key role in a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. My cooking is full of flavor, farm fresh and quick to cook. I like to incorporate traditional Indian food philosophy such as, healing herbs and recipes according to seasons. I believe in cooking with seasonal vegetables as they taste best when they are in full bloom. Apart from cooking, I love to go for long walks in nature and hiking to deepen my connection with nature. I also meditate and enjoy reading motivational and spiritual books. As a chef and cooking instructor, my main goal is to motivate people to eat healthy and expand their culinary horizons. I focus on creative and interactive cooking experience for my students so that they enjoy learning, how to cook. EAT WELL – THINK WELL – BE WELL