Asma Khan

1 minute read
By Padma Lakshmi

I met Asma Khan when she was a guest on Top Chef. She cooked a thali meal for our contestants, which they loved. Asma is a ball of energy with a wicked sense of humor. She’s the auntie you would have said was your favorite growing up.

Her acclaimed London restaurant, Darjeeling Express, has an all-female kitchen. Most chefs are older South Asian immigrants who lack formal training. Asma is not only interested in doing the right thing, she’s a shrewd businesswoman too. South Asian aunties know the cuisine best. Many Indian restaurants in the West have menus where everything kind of tastes the same. But Asma’s food is surprising. It doesn’t taste like restaurant food—and that is the highest compliment.

Asma has been featured on Chef’s Table and won all kinds of acclaim for her food, but she’s humble. I’m excited for Asma to start hosting the documentary series Tiffin Stories, which will highlight food from the Indian diaspora. She will be a natural host: she’s hospitable, and genuinely cares about people. 

Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated producer and host

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