When I initially came across Jehangir Mehta while surfing the Internet, little did I realize that he was to become an Iron Chef. Of course, his style of cooking is brilliant and it was even more intriguing the way he comes up with his recipes. It was later I realized that he was trained at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). People should be made aware of his wide range of recipes as it is his pastries that keep getting mentioned in the press.
Now something about Jehangir – As per Wikipedia, Jehangir Mehta was born on 9th July, 1971 to Kolly and Petras Mehta in Mumbai. Later, after migrating to the New York City, United States, he met and married his wife, Hinata Jambuserwala with whom he has twins. He is the executive chef and owner of New York City restaurant Graffiti, which opened in the East Village of New York City in 2007. He is also the author of the 2008 HarperCollins cookbook - Mantra, The Rules of Indulgence. In August 2009, Jehangir appeared on “Iron Chef America” on Food Network, and was the runner-up on the second season of “The Next Iron Chef” later in 2009.
I recollect watching one of the Iron Chef programs on telly and what really got me was Jehangir’s open and bold attitude. Serving Donatella Arpaia and Jeffrey needs some guts from Chef Mehta’s part. For those of whom who are new to the world of food and restaurants, Donatella Arpaia is one of the popular New York restaurateurs and culinary personalities, while Jeffrey Steingarten is the Food Critic with the popular Vogue magazine. Jeffrey has also won various awards and is also the author of the best selling book - The Man Who Ate Everything.
I am certain, Mehta is going to surprise a lot of people as he is someone who keeps challenging his limits. Another interesting factor is that Mehta is not interested in stardom (that is something he has already achieved), but it’s the passion for cooking that keeps him going. Basically, Jehangir comes forth as a down to earth and simple personality. There is no ego and it is his humility that gets across to you. What he really is passionate about is his customer’s taste. Should you get to watch the “Next Iron Chef”, do try out his imaginative and innovative creations at home. I can guarantee you that the results would be fabulous.
Chef Mehta’s creations are a mixture of Asian and Western cultures. In other words, there are lots of spices, artistically blended with foods that are popular in the West. Usually, people in the West are a bit apprehensive to eating food with a lot of spices and Chef Mehta’s creations change all that by making them into really amazing creations.
Mehta’s culture and background also gives him the courage to try various alternatives that also include Ayurveda and various fruit creations. The rest is left to his imagination. He is a humble and wonderful personality and am waiting to visit his restaurant the next time I next visit NYC.