Chef Shruti Patel’s earliest memory of working with food was when she was about five years old, sitting on the front porch in India with her grandmother shucking fresh peas. Since then, food has always been a constant in her life. “Living” food has molded her into the competitive and strong woman she is in and out of the kitchen. Currently, Shruti is the executive chef of her pop-up series, Rangoli – Food Through Color, in which she crafts Indian dishes with a Spanish influence.
How did you find your way into the historically male-dominated culinary industry?
My grandmother’s passion for food forged the road for me into the industry.
What has been a defining moment in your career?
The moment I believed 100% in my food and my ability to make people happy through my love of it.
Tell us about the ladies who serve up culinary inspiration in your life.
The first one is Julia Child because my grandmother had her book open on the counter all the time when I was growing up. I also love Nigella Lawson and Padma Lakshmi. They both have given me the inspiration to make food that’s close to my heart. My mom was never a great chef but both of these women were examples for her because they made simple, easy, and delicious on a daily basis.
What advice do you have for other women trying to build culinary careers?
Do what you have to do to show you belong, but be true to yourself. You can still stand out without being like one of the guys!