About Meherwan Irani

In 2009, Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant– Chai Pani, a unique Indian street food joint in downtown Asheville. Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. In any case, the self-taught chef has now opened his fifth place, with more on the way. With two James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast under his belt, he's finally confident this might be working out. His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Men's Health, USA Today, and Bon Appétit, among others. Not bad for a former salesman. He accredits his business success to the amazing people he works with each day, including his business partner and wife, Molly.

My Restaurants

Where I Eat

Behind the Scenes

"This good looking group is ready to get sh*t done. Met amazing people, made friends, cooked food, got inspired, got choked up, talked a lot, listened a lot, spoke up, was silent, was changed, and was myself. Thank you @beardfoundation #jbfimpact #chefslead 📷: @kengoodmanphoto"
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"So this is happening. In my previous life I watched @maneetchauhan compete on #nextironchef☝🏽and I dreamt of being a chef one day. To now be cooking with her and culinary heroes such as @kissmybhatt1 @ashagomez @cheetieku is unreal. You couldn’t make this up in a Bollywood movie! Proud to be brown, American, and living in the south. Yes change is hard and long and messy, but this is the part of the country I now call home, and it has embraced and accepted me and for that I am grateful and want to give back. #browninthesouthdinner @southernfoodways #thetimestheyareachangin"
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From My Menu