Aarthi Sampath, the Chef De Cuisine (head chef) of Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna’s Junoon Restaurant here, has won the American competition-based reality show “CHOPPED”.
She was announced the winner during the show’s episode that went on air on Tuesday (August 9) on Food Network.
Reacting to her victory, Sampath said in a statement: “Firstly, I feel relieved. It was one of the toughest things I have done in my life. Cooking a dish in 20 minutes and then being subject to criticism is not easy.”
“I feel accomplished and I am so excited for this new journey I am going to start. I feel like I am one step closer to my goal of inspiring women in India and across the globe.”
Sampath’s entry into the culinary world began with an exploration of flavours found in the diverse kitchens of Mumbai and eventually led to her current position as Chef De Cuisine at Junoon. Sampath was also featured in the pictures from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US last year. Sampath was part of Khanna’s core team for The Billionaire’s Club Dinner.
“Being on the show has been the toughest, most challenging, scary yet satisfying experience of my life. It’s one of the most popular shows in the culinary circuit and, being the first Indian woman to have won this, it is a really big achievement for me,” said Sampath in an interview to Vagabomb.
In terms of a professional journey, Sampath started off as a student at the Institute of Hotel Management in Jaipur. From there, she moved on as a kitchen management trainee with the Taj group. All through her culinary journey, she’s made sure she kept herself updated with the latest trends and techniques, which led her to become the head chef at Junoon.