It is said that Bengalis love to eat or rather live to eat. It’s a very common thing in a Bengali household to discuss and fix the menu of the next meal while sitting for a meal. ‘Randhonpotiyoshi’ is a term that describes a lady who is super skilled and can literally cook up magic.
I chanced upon Priyanka Chakravarthy’s profile and the word that came in my mind was ‘rondhonpotiyoshi’. An NRI with a penchant for Bengali delicacies was someone whom I needed to connect with. Food for me is a passion and the people behind those delicacies are those who never fails to amuse me. To me, they are artists who pleases us with their creativity.
These was what she said to me about her passion, her interest in cooking which transcended into a lifelong obsession.( The beauty of the thing is I have never met her)
“Being a non-resident Bengali and Mom and being a perfectionist in home making, I remember my childhood experience of learning to make roti from the age of seven. Initially there were debacles but my Mom never let me give up. I was doing very well in my career spanning from print media to financial and banking sector, when I got married and came with my husband to Hawaii, USA. The dearth of good Indian food made me start interacting with a lot of well-known chefs and cuisine clubs. It helped me gain invaluable culinary tips and tricks. When my daughter was born I was not able to continue doing a day job. But most of my chef friends and my family members encouraged me to venture on my own and Priya’s Platter was born .
Currently my creations travel all over US and at occasions hand delivered to even Seoul.
. How cooking became a passion?
Mostly my cravings for good authentic Bengali and North India dishes and their absense so forth in USA was behind my passion. My husband’s work has taken us to almost all major cities in the US East Coast. Every city I visited or stayed, the first thing I used to look for, was a good Indian Grocery Store and an Indian Restaurant.
Appreciations are like superchargers says Priyanka
My first pop up
Home Dining was something that was catching up in India and I sensed a similar longing for having clean and simple yet delicious home cooked food in comfortable homely atmosphere. I was proved right when my first home dining event got over subscribed.
Cooking up a storm!!
One of Priyanka’s signature items, Chitrakoot
Always my near and dear ones – Mom Dad, my Husband and daughter and ofcourse my friends and most importantly my patrons and followers who have tasted my successes as well as failure but only had good words to speak about my cooking.
How cooking helped to cope with Cancer
It was such a distressing phase in my life that I will like to remember only the kind of help that I received from everyone. Although cooking helps me sooth over but sometimes I still have to take a forced gap due to ill health. On the good side of things my association with MSK (Memorial Sloan Kettering) as benefactor started as well as I was grateful for the care that I received from them and saw first hand what they are doing to help so many others.
Using cooking for a good purpose
I generally try to remain honest to my roots and enjoy re-creating golden oldies and recent innovations both. In other words spreading the different and colorful facets of Indian especially Bengali cooking is one of prime directives of Priya’s Platter. More so, when I get compliments like ‘my cooking resembles someone’s mom, grandma or a very near ones’. Along with touch so many lives, I do at least two fundraisers for MSK in a year.
Some of my fav dishes
I have a sweet tooth so one of my most favorite ones is Chitrakut, Mishti Polao, Kosha Mangsho, Doi Mach and Golap Sondesh.
Mishtis as ‘ mishti’ as her!!
It was my privilege to be virtually acquainted with someone who is trying to keep the essence and flavours of Bengal alive. Her weapons are powerful, the ladle and wok. She is a fighter, she has combated a deadly disease and has immersed triumphant. Such people inspire us with their creativity and their courage.