Smita Gandre

Pop-Up Chef
Smita Gandre

Jersey City

About Smita Gandre

As a child, I found myself always fascinated by the process of creating food from basic ingredients. I remember standing on a little stool by the kitchen stove, watching the water boil. I was 8 years old and was making tea for my grandparents, after having fought with my mom for permission to do so. That was the first time I created anything in the kitchen, and from that moment on, I knew I was hooked on to creating beautiful, delicious and flavorful food that not only satisfies the palate, but also nourishes us in body and spirit. There is a saying in India that "Food is Brahman"; so food that is cooked and taken in a wholesome way is the stuff of Heaven! My food journey began with going to the extremes of creating food with lots of spices and cream, ignoring age old recipes. Slowly, living abroad, I found myself yearning for the homemade food I used to have in my own home and my friends’ homes in India. That set me off on a new journey. That food had a certain soul-nourishing quality that I found lacking in a lot of the Indian restaurant food I find here. Today, I find myself cooking with local, organic ingredients, using age old home recipes and constantly searching for authentic recipes created by our grandmothers and earlier generations. Yes, I even have some recipes from the 1800s! I feel that food is so deeply connected to community, culture and spirituality that we enjoy it most when it evokes a sense of place, life and beyond. For more than a decade now, I have entertained friends with homemade food and have taken them on virtual journeys through India with talks about spirituality, my culture and all things in-between. It is only appropriate that I now share this journey with my bigger family, which includes, philosophically, all of humanity and in practical terms, anyone who is interested in trying genuine, tasty, wholesome Indian food! It is my hope that you will come join us, and enjoy authentic food that is tasty, balanced and nourishing. I create it with love, and love, like food, is meant to be shared. See you soon!