Priyanka Naik better know as Chef Priyanka, is a self-taught Indian vegan cook. She is a Food Network champion (Cooks vs Cons Season 5 Episode 12 WINNER), Quibi Dishmantled Winner, and have travelled to nearly forty countries – all attributing to her culinary vision and original recipes!
She has been featured in CNN, GQ, and hosts an original show on Tastemade called Dish It Healthy, among several other brands, publications, and platforms.
Catch Chef Priyanka Naik in an exclusive interview with Namita Nayyar, President, Women Fitness, where she talks about Indian roots, diet, exercise routine and global recipes.
A vegan cook, global traveler, TV personality, Food Network champion and Quibi Dishmantled Winner! According to you how would you define Priyanka & her journey as a chef?
My journey can be defined only as “I got 99 problems, but a meal ain’t 1!” Ha ha! I only joke. My journey started over 10 years ago when I became vegetarian, full-time. I was always into cooking as much as I was into playing with cars and barbies at a young age.
Food and cooking have been an integral part of our family too – both my parents, especially my Mom, are excellent cooks. And since my sisters and I are first generation Indians living in NYC, food was a way to stay in touch with our culture. So I taught myself how to cook and when I became a full-time vegetarian, I stared www.chefpriyanka.com to share my original vegetarian recipes.
About 3+ years ago, I started cooking all vegan and maintain a primarily vegan lifestyle. My cooking journey has led me to become a Food Network Champion, Quibi Dishmantled Winner, Host of an original series on Tastemade Streaming Networking called “Dish It Healthy” plus much more. A part of my life that I attribute to my original recipes is travel. I have traveled to nearly 40 countries and hope to travel to several more. So, my journey is continuing on! I am in the process of writing my first cookbook!
You have been featured in CNN, GQ, and host an original show on Tastemade called Dish It Healthy, among several other brands, publications, and platforms.
Share an insight into your journey of starting off as a chef to be recognized for your work globally?
The battle is much greater for me to prove my “worth” so to speak, in the culinary world. So, I proved my worth through competing on nationally televised food competitions like Food Network’s Cooks vs Cons and won! But the journey isn’t easy – I was rejected 2 times by Food Network, prior to landing a spot-on Cooks vs Cons. Since then, the hustle continues. I hardly ever take no for an answer.
The reason why my food and platform is recognized globally is because my style of cooking is an “Indian Twist on Global Classics.” I aim to combine my cultural heritage with my learning from my global travel. So, these recipes and my stories have garnered attention by platform worldwide, because people feel a sense of connection and purpose with my food.
Growing up your family made sure of inculcating healthy eating habits with your mom packing lunch for school every day that was Indian inspired spicy Bombay Sandwich, Frooti and Mango Juice with every night closing with a different fresh cooked meal. Reflecting how have those habits served you?
5 tips for moms to inculcate healthy eating and cooking habits in high-tech generation kids?
My upbringing was surrounded by food and it taught me to appreciate where the food was coming from, how it was prepared, and why it’s so important not waste. But also, it built my palate – I was eating all different types of cuisine as a child – regional Indian cuisine, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Lebanese, [American] Chinese, and several more.
Parental Tips to Build healthy Eating Habits:
- Include them in your cooking process. Give them a task or two – it’ll engage them and push them to be curious and ask questions.
- Try to eat a different cuisine every day or every other day. So, if you make Indian parathas one evening, perhaps, turn those into Middle Eastern-inspired flatbreads the next day with za’atar, chickpeas, tomato, parsley, and tahini.
- Pick a new vegetable or two each week and experiment with dishes throughout the week – asking your kids to perhaps look up some recipes on their phone for those vegetables. Again, it’s that aspect of making them feel included in the process.
- Ask them what their favorite fast food is and instead of going out and buying it, recreate it at home. For instance, my 11-year-old (albeit phone-obsessed) niece was bugging us for Taco Bell. So instead I made “Taco Bell” at home and she absolutely loved it. It’s the idea of showing them that anything can be made and be made tastier and healthier if we just try.
- Lastly, and possibly the simplest, eat together. I have never eaten dinner alone if I’m under one roof with my family. We always at least coordinate our schedules so we’re in the kitchen together during dinner time.
This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President womenfitness.net and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.
All Written Content Copyright © 2020 Women Fitness
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.