Happy New Year! And what better way to bring in 2015 than to try out the best new authentic Indian restaurant with a modern flair, “American Gymkhana!” The passion behind the kitchen doors is Chef Aarthi Sampath, a wonderfully talented chef with a love for the art of cooking.
Growing up in India exposed Chef Aarthi to many flavors and a wide variety of dishes, but she never thought about cooking until she was 11 or 12 years old, got in trouble and was grounded from all her other activities which forced her to stay home. With nothing else to do, she began reading cookbooks and wondering how to make the different dishes. She finally decided to bake her first cake, and was amazed at the results. “It almost seemed like magic, you put in simple ingredients, and then they come out to be a beautiful product.”
Chef Aarthi was always interested in the creative field, being a dancer, actress, and dramatist, and it was this love of the creative arts that drew her to cooking. Creating a dish or an entire meal is a special gift from the chef to his or her guests, and it is an exciting experience when they appreciate not only the quality of the content of the meal, but the special flair or artistry of the preparation.
When Chef Aarthi told her family that she was going to be a chef instead of an engineer or a doctor, they were less than pleased, but her determination and drive to excel in her chosen field pushed her to enroll in the Institute of Hotel Management in Jaipur, Northern India, and she eventually became the first student from the institute to ever be accepted by the prestigious Taj Group as a Kitchen Management trainee, one of only 12 selected in all of India!
After her work in India, she traveled to New York City in order to continue her growth as a Chef and learn from the talented Chefs here in the U.S., which she credits as having influenced her vision to include that “modern element” to her dishes. She relies heavily on her childhood memories, those authentic flavors that she experienced growing up in India, and then she loves to add the “local influences” of wherever she happens to be.
“The local tastes and traditions combine beautifully with the tastes of India, making the final product unique and very special. Every dish on my menu portrays the passion I have for the art of cooking; all the memories, the effort, the pains, the joys I have experienced. They all come together with each dish, creating something special… creating culinary art!”
“American Gymkhana” is the perfect place to sample Chef Aarthi’s craft, and she loves to hear the feedback from her guests. “I am very passionate about food, about cuisine… it is a part of me. I am in my element when I am in the kitchen, preparing dishes that I know my guests will enjoy. It is where I belong!”
Stop by and experience the magic of Chef Aarthi at “American Gymkhana” one of the most enjoyable ways to have a multicultural experience!