"Community is all around us! Let's challenge ourselves to put cooking food at the center of those communities."
Palak Patel grew up between Atlanta and India in a large family. She loved cooking but pursued business and fell in love with food while traveling the world as a marketer. Palak chose to change careers when her company was acquired in 2010 and trained at the Culinary Business Academy of the U.S. Personal Chef Institute in San Francisco, then the International Culinary Center (then the French Culinary Institute). She cooked in the South of France and taught classes at a small Brooklyn cooking school before being persuaded to compete on “Chopped,” which she won in 2013.
Chef Palak has competed on “Food Network Star” and won “Beat Bobby Flay” since, in addition to making guest appearances on the "Today Show," Fox 5 "Good Day Atlanta," Bravo and ABC 7 Chicago. She's traveled to more than 50 countries for food and incorporates nutrition, herbs and spices into her recipes for private lessons and personal chef work.
Chef Palak’s specialty is authentic, healthy and often vegetarian Indian food, and she prides herself on making fine food casual. She's hosted many food pop-ups, consults for high-end restaurants in places like Miami and the Amalfi Coast, and partners with major brands, such as Whole Foods, Clif Bar, BMW, Barclays and Hello Fresh.
In 2019, Chef Palak joined the Institute of Culinary Education to test recipes and develop her health-conscious, vegetable-forward cooking. She is passionate about preventing food waste, advocating for New York City's Southeast Asian population and promoting sustainability.
- Classical Culinary Arts, International Culinary Center, 2012
- Master's in Management, The George Washington University, 2006
- Marketing, Management and Business, Georgia State University
- Personal chef, NYC, 2015 to present
- VP of Client Services, Symphony Advanced Media, 2014-2015
- VP of Digital Market Intelligence, GfK Custom Research North America, 2012-2014
- Director of Client Services, Nielsen NeuroFocus, 2008-2012
- Marketing Specialist, UPS, Atlanta, 2003-2005
- Assistant Project Manager, DBAssociates, Atlanta, 2001
Affiliations and Memberships
- Board member, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine
- Volunteer, Project Sunshine
Specialties/Areas of Interest
- Indian cuisine and spices
- Vegetarian and pescetarian cooking
- Healthful cooking
Palak Patel on the Blog
- The Ritual of Cooking Rice
- How to Make Fish and Chips
- Chef Palak's South Indian Fried Chicken
- Dhokla: Fermented Savory Rice Cake
- Chef Palak's Fancy, Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
- Chef Palak's Pro Guide to a Vegan Thanksgiving
- India’s Achar Pickles
- A Five-Day Ferment for Pro French Fries
- Four All-Purpose Flour Alternatives