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“Courage has no gender, what you bring to the table is all what matters”- Chef Anahita Dhondy



“In my opinion, there is no difference between a man and a woman in the kitchen, in the industry, in my restaurant and in my life. A gender doesn’t define your profession.”

Delegating is tough and probably more than what it looks like on the surface. Anahita, the chef partner at SodaBottleOpenerWala knows exactly how it feels to be on the receiving end of remarks and judgments. Having paved her way from an intern to a chef partner, she shares how challenging it can get for a leader and most importantly, a female to get anyone to listen to her.

Anahita challenged the stereotypes while climbing the chef ladder and feels that gender in no way can come in a way of what you’re truly passionate about.

“From knowing a couple of food techniques to running a professional kitchen, it’s been a long way.”   

A girl who always dreamed of cruising around the world cooking modern French cuisine is now a chef partner at the iconic Bombay Irani Cafe and Bar, SodaBottleOpenerWala. A cultural mascot, a youth icon and a trendsetter- Anahita Dhondy is as close to the perfect definition of a chef as can get.

Anahita inherited the skills from her mother who was always keen on learning something different. The new culinary experiments and a variety of cuisines presented on the table intrigued a little girl into creating something of her own. Being a food enthusiast, she began cooking at a very early age. From knowing a couple of food techniques to reading about them and then running a professional kitchen, Anahita has come a long way.

It is hard to miss out on every celebration but every single day is absolutely worth it. Even if you have to sacrifice, it’s worth the effort and struggle.” 

For the rising chef, this journey was worth the struggle and every single day and every unique creation was an achievement that was way too fulfilling. While missing out on several occasions can be a challenge, everything becomes worthwhile when you love what you do.

“You’re adding just one rice grain in a bag full of rice, but you’re still doing your bit and it goes a long way.” 

Besides being an impeccable chef, Anahita also advocates for sustainability. The chef grabs every opportunity she gets to try something different and if that one grain can add value to the system while also benefiting a farmer, then it is worth the change.

“Courage has no gender, what you bring to the table is all what matters”  

Although women are perceived to be the carriers of cuisines and keepers of the kitchen, they still had to face denial for moving out to cook. The profession was looked down upon and they were subjected to constant judgments. Anahita feels that the industry is now evolving and she is happy to see the level of acceptance for women in all spaces around the world. Being a female chef, she did encounter situations when she was doubted and questioned, but that never took the passion away from her. She strongly believes that a profession has nothing to do with gender, it’s what you bring to the table that matters the most.

“Creativity and innovation are the only two things that can distinct you from the crowd. If you’re working for something you’re truly passionate about, nobody can take that away from you. If you’re really good at something, you just need to keep pursuing it till the time the world gets to know about you.”

Anahita had her own ups and downs in a profession that was almost unheard of and she is still redefining everything around her. With perseverance and hard work, she is happy to create something unique every single day. The goal is to embrace the change and not run away from it, to chase something until the world gets to know about you.

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