Watching my mum cook for our extended family would fascinate me. At the tender age of 6, I would stand on a stool and help her roll the chapattis. Just being in the kitchen with my mum imbedded skills and cooking techniques that no culinary school could teach. My interest for cooking was taking shape. Later in life this interest turned into a passion for creating and recreating authentic recipes from my childhood and exploring new world cuisine. This passion for cooking took me from an aspiring young home cook to…
fast forward 25yrs…
A successful Specialist Vegan/Vegetarian Chef,
Restaurateur, National and International
Events Caterer, Businesswomen, a wife and a proud mother of four amazing daughters!
How it all began...
I still remember making my first Kachori...
As a young woman overflowing with culinary curiosity, I found myself constantly immersed in the world of flavors, endlessly experimenting with new recipes and techniques. It was a fervent passion that consumed me—a passion that would ultimately ignite a blazing trail of success and fulfillment.
One fateful day, I decided to share a batch of my homemade kachoris with my colleagues at work—a bold move that would forever change the course of my life. Little did I know, that a simple act of generosity would set off a chain reaction of extraordinary opportunities.
Imagine my elation when, just a week later, I was approached by our director, who had tasted one of my kachoris and was eager to feature them at the next board meeting luncheon. Thrilled and honored, I poured my heart and soul into crafting 40 perfect kachoris, each one bursting with flavor and love. The moment they graced the table, they were met with resounding applause and requests for more—a testament to the magic that happens when passion meets opportunity.
With a newfound sense of purpose and determination, I seized the chance to turn my culinary prowess into a thriving business. Despite the early mornings and the challenges of balancing work with motherhood, I embraced the opportunity to supply kachoris and other culinary delights for corporate events. And oh, the feeling of pride and accomplishment as I watched my creations delighting palates and winning hearts across the city!
Fuelled by ambition and a relentless desire to pursue my dreams, I took a leap of faith and embarked on the journey of a lifetime.
In 1995, I made the bold decision to open my first business... a sweets and savories cafe—thus, Surti Foods was born. It was a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation as I poured my heart and soul into every dish, every customer interaction, and every moment of the journey.
With each passing year, my passion for cooking only grew stronger, propelling me to new heights of success and acclaim. From humble beginnings, I built a reputation as a culinary trailblazer—As I moved into larger premises, a dedicated Catering Unit, I became a force to be reckoned with in the bustling world of catering and gastronomy.
And then, just when I thought my journey couldn't get any more exhilarating, I dared to dream even bigger. With the support of my family, the vision of owning and running my own Restaurant, danced tantalizingly before me - a dream that demanded every ounce of me! Whilst life threw every challenge at me, It was a journey marked by sweat, tears, and moments of doubt—but oh, the sweet taste of victory when, after 15 years of relentless dedication, that dream finally became a reality. My first fully Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant - Surti by Chef D emerged as a beacon of culinary excellence—a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and unwavering determination.
Today, as I look back on the incredible tapestry of experiences that have shaped my journey, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the challenges that made me stronger, for the triumphs that made it all worthwhile, and for the unwavering support of family, friends, and loyal patrons who have stood by me every step of the way.
This is more than just a story of culinary conquest—it's a celebration of the human spirit, of resilience in the face of adversity, and of the boundless possibilities that await when we dare to chase our dreams.
Welcome to the extraordinary world of Chef D and Surti Foods—a world where passion knows no bounds, and every bite tells a story of love, laughter, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.
I have encountered and overcome life’s toughest challenges and times where many would have given up. I carried on and persevered, going over and beyond. Building a business in the Veg food industry was extremely difficult in the ‘90s. The passion to create and recreate authentic and fusion cuisine alongside holding on to my morals and ethics was becoming a financial challenge but I turned it around and made it my super power! I had a gift and I was creating the most amazing cuisine which attracted the real food connoisseurs. The appreciation for my food gave me a deep sense of pride that fuelled my passion and continued forward. Through thick and thin, I never caved into the ruthless world of Business. Here I was, an independent self-made Businesswoman, juggling home life and a young family, this eventually took its toll on my health. I ignored so many signs and continued to suppress them. Keeping my business afloat and always rising to the next challenge was a 24/7 continuous commitment. The family would say, slow down you need a break, you need to take time out for yourself, look after yourself, and my answer was, "yes let me just complete this project… or as soon as this wedding season is over, I will sort myself out..."
life in the industry...
"You're not ruthless enough to be in Business"
"You won't be successful just serving Veg food..."
I let them say what they wanted to...
I never cut corners! I know I will never be rich, but I sleep well at night!
Working with integrity and holding on to ethics and morals was my strength.
After a tragic loss...The turning point!
AND... finally the time had to make some life changing choices...
When you stay true to your passion... one chapter closes... and a much better more profound journey awaits...
The wake-up call came in 2017, when I lost my sister, my best friend, the backbone of our family, to an illness she was not technically supposed to have… her lifestyle, her diet, her mindset, everything about her just did not fit the criteria.
The grief, the loss was unfathomable.
I was the one who neglected myself. Even she would tell me off for working silly hours, putting on so much weight, not eating at the right times... my life was nowhere near normal... Why all of a sudden did this happen to her? The grief turned to anger and confusion turned into questions… so I asked myself where have we gone wrong? Where did all these ailments stem from? Partially neglect, ignorance, and denial, but mostly the lack of proper knowledge. There was so much we were doing wrong. Finding the answers became an obsession as I realised the root of the problem was the food we are eating! it's not doing its job of nourishing and repairing our bodies. I had to know more, so I dived into the contradicting world of nutrition. We were already vegetarians since birth, and I had a career in food, so what more could there be that I don’t already know?
Right?... I was so wrong!
I found myself falling out of passion for my business and my restaurant was no longer giving me any joy...
The time finally came to take a step back from my Catering and Restaurant Business and I made a tough decision in 2020 not to reopen my Restaurant as I felt my passion had shifted from just creating delicious food to creating Healthy delicious food, I needed to learn more so I decided to continue to research and embark on a new journey into correct Nutrition and Cooking.
After much in-depth research, something was still missing.
Obtaining all this knowledge about food combinations and nutrition, I learnt that this still wasn’t enough to ensure the food we consume will nourish us properly. No matter how expensive, organic, clean, or fresh our ingredients are, it’s all useless if in the end, our cooking equipment and method destroys the nutrition! If that's not bad enough, the wrong cooking equipment leaches harmful toxins back into our foods!
If we don’t have the correct equipment, these ingredients are merely exciting our palate as overcooked, over-seasoned and toxic junk. All this type of food does is filling us up without nourishing us in the way it was supposed to. This lack of nutrition, processed food and toxicity builds up over time and can prevent us to function in the way we used to or are supposed to. Unfortunately, for some people, this damage can trigger life-threatening diseases quicker for them than others, and many find out when it’s too late… To find the right solution to this problem, I had to search further and wider into another world of food, not just the best ingredients but the correct cooking equipment!
Just the correct combination of food is not the only answer!
Healthy Nutrition... Needs the correct cooking method too!
Whilst my research continued into healthy foods, I realised that learning about the healthiest cooking equipment went hand in hand too. This was the only way I could justify giving a healthy meal its correct meaning. This opened up a whole new area of interest. What I learned here was nothing less than life-changing... the results shook me to my core! I felt perplexed obtaining all this information and facts. I didn’t know how to feel. Glad to now know the truth? or saddened with the fact that so many of us are unaware of food combinations, cooking temperatures, and the dangers of using toxic-ladened cooking equipment? Have we been misled? mis-sold? misinformed?
What I am certain about, is that as a result of lack of information and education, and using and continuing to cook in this way, is contributing to so many lifestyle diseases that can be prevented, but yet so many of us are battling with every day of our lives.
Nevertheless, my research and findings brought me to the conclusion that 'I had found the missing link!' and if I combine all this with my existing experience and passion for culinary arts, I can help so many people, cook and eat correctly and most of all Deliciously!
With 25 years of cooking experience, I thought I knew all about food and cooking. The harsh reality was that I had not even touched the surface.
What we all think is safe to cook in is what the cookware companies want us to think. We are all victims of the mass marketing strategies conceived by the large manufacturers to make us purchase everything they promote as the new fad in cooking equipment. Over the years, we have been fed lies just like what we are learning about the large pharmaceuticals and their lies. With the hundreds of so-called best cookware out there, my work was cut out for me. I had to read all the small print and sift through websites where they claimed that their cookware is safe to use and have health benefits. Only to find in the small print that it says otherwise! So the following pans: Teflon, Nonstick, PFOA’s non-PFOA’s, Aluminium, Granite coated, Anodised, Ceramic coated, Iron cladded, 18/10 SS, Heavy bottom, and the list goes on… none of these were the best after all!
My search for the Ultimate Best of the Best!
A special feeling when you find a company with genuine ethics morals and an ethos! Finally a company I can resonate with.
My quest served its purpose and i find my passion again !
This quest to learn more about the best nutrition and the best cooking equipment has taken a new direction and opened up a whole new journey...
One where I can help others... My new mission and Passion!
I finally found The Rolls Royce of the cooking equipment world!
Now a year later, I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity of teaming up as an Educator/Trainer and a Chef Ambassador with this global multi-award-winning 75yr old company, who have magnificently designed, crafted, and engineered the world’s best and most superior specialist health cooking system, made of 316Ti Titanium 'Surgical' Steel.
This collaboration has given me the right tools to take my mission of promoting healthy cooking to everyone who wants to prevent and heal from lifestyle diseases.
This perfect combination of correct ingredients, skills, knowledge, and correct equipment, ensures optimum nutrition, by allowing me to cook at the right temperature and in a nontoxic environment, elevating each ingredient to its optimum nutritional value whilst releasing its natural real flavors.
Every recipe I create now has so much more to offer than just taste and look... My food will nourish and heal you, support your growth and provide the goodness it is supposed to!
I can't wait to cook delicious food for you again! but now even better!
Finally, my new journey begins...
The decision to close Surti's was too difficult, but things had to change, I needed a new direction.
The deep sadness of losing a loved one left me with so many questions.
Now I have learned how to channel that emotion into helping others. I can still continue doing what I love doing but with a better purpose.
I have embarked on a journey, a mission, to promote healthy cooking back into our homes and our lives, not just with the best ingredients but the best equipment too. I am humbled that life has given me a chance to combine my skills to share this knowledge with you through my New Cooking Academy...
Cooking with complete confidence that we have got it right! Only then can we ensure that our bodies are nourished in the best possible way.
'You are welcome to join me, Chef D, in...