By Frankie di iorio
Shachi Mehra had planned her whole life to become a doctor. Luckily for us, her sister suggested a career in the culinary arts and Chef Shachi never looked back.
BORN IN INDIA AND RAISED IN NEW JERSEY, Chef Shachi grew up feasting on the expert-quality home cooking of her mother. She enjoyed all types of cuisine including Indian food and as official “taster” of the house, developed a sophisticated palate at a very young age. When Chef Shachi was eleven she lived in India for two years and she believes those years greatly shaped who she is as a person today.
Chef Shachi only began to consider making her hobby of cooking into a career after she worked for a doctor who absolutely loved his job. She knew that she wanted to be as happy and as passionate as he was in her own profession. Soon after her sister suggested culinary school, Shachi got the chance to speak to the executive chef of Trapprock in New Jersey and he offered her a job on the spot.
Her first day in the kitchen was an enlightenment. She knew that cooking was her calling. A year of learning passed before she left Trapprock with the intention of attending culinary school, an idea she curtailed after meeting Chef Floyd Cardoz. She worked under him at Tabla in New York City for around two and a half years and then went on an eight-month culinary tour of the world. Next, Shachi found herself in a very traditional Indian
restaurant in D.C. where many of the chefs had never worked with a woman before. From the loud and “screamy” environment of Trapprock, to the near silent kitchen at Paowalla and many successful restaurants in Southern California, Chef Shachi gained experience in a variety of culinary settings. Experiencing hands-on cooking in India, Japan, Australia, Peru, Austria, Czech Republic, Prague, London, France and the U.S. also made Chef Shachi Mehra a well-rounded culinary force. All of her experiences she says, led her to the vision she had for Adya (aw-dee-uh).
Inspired by her mother’s home cooking, Chef Shachi opened her own restaurant, featuring fast-casual Indian cuisine and an open kitchen. Chef Shachi knew that she had to have an open kitchen that allows people to see their food being made and the care with which it is prepared. An open kitchen allows for another level of customer trust. Chef Shachi takes pride in her staff’s ability to engage with customers. Whether someone is trying Indian food for the first time, or they are accustomed to it, everyone can have an enjoyable experience at Adya. For people who grew up on Indian food, Chef Shachi’s creations aim to recreate memories. For patrons new to the cuisine, a lasting impression of the great food and
helpful staff turns first-timers into regulars. Chef firmly believes that the energy you put into your cooking will affect the final outcome of the dish. She says that if you cook while you’re angry, the dish will be a disappointment. From tasting Chef Shachi’s food, it is clear that she puts passion, love and special attention to detail in every dish she makes.
KITCHEN GADGET OR TOOL My knife
KITCHEN APPLIANCE Vitamix
COOKWARE Dutch oven
CONDIMENT/SPICE Sooooo many!!! It depends on the mood – I love condiments and spices
JUNK FOOD All kinds of potato chips except barbeque
RAW INGREDIENT Avocado, green chilis, cilantro, mint
FAST FOOD Taco Bell – 7-layer burrito
BIGGEST MYTH ABOUT WORKING IN THE KITCHEN As a chef, you have to be a jerk or an a$$*&%#
SIGNATURE OR FAVORITE DISH TO MAKE I love to make Watermelon Chaat and Goat
BIGGEST CULINARY INFLUENCE AND WHY As a young cook, I learned so much from Floyd Cardoz – he helped me shape my ideas and influences and changed my outlook on Indian food. Lately, my influences have been family, friends, and the bright colors and flavors of India
3 WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOUR CULINARY STYLE Fresh, Flavorful, Creative
CHEF SHACHI MEHRA
ADYA FRESH INDIAN FLAVORS
Lunch: $ 15
44O S. Anaheim Blvd.
May 30, 2014
Monday – Thursday 11 AM – 9 PM
Friday – Saturday 11 AM – 10 PM
Sunday 11 AM – 9 PM
4213 Campus Dr.
September 21, 2016
Monday – Sunday 11 AM – 9 PM