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Food

Hot plates

Radhika Khandelwal, 30 Chef and Owner, Radish Hospitality, Delhi

Passion is a double-edged sword. It propels you to break rules and innovate but at the same time it places you in the middle of tough challenges. For Delhi-based Radhika Khandelwal, it was her zeal for doing something creative that pushed her to pursue psychology and hairdressing in Melbourne, Australia. To make some money while studying, she started waitressing, slowly making her way up the culinary ladder. "After working in several restaurants to support myself while studying, the adrenaline in the kitchen led me to find my passion and I found my calling for life," says Khandelwal. And for inspiration, she turned to an accomplished woman in the same field. "Chef Dominique Crenn's work has always been my inspiration. I idolise her. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to visit her atelier and meet Crenn, her team and spend time in the kitchen," she says.

Looking for a fresh start

Khandelwal came back to Delhi in 2013 and set up Ivy & Bean, a restaurant with a modern Australian cuisine. "Ivy & Bean was opened to fill a gap in the comfort cafe space. It's where people feel at home," she says. Then in January 2017, she launched her second restaurant, Fig & Maple. "This was opened to fuel my desire for farm-to-fork concept and to bring fresh, perhaps inconsistent but great quality indigenous produce to my guests keeping a very local, season and fresh perspective without sticking to a particular cuisine," she adds.

Reinventing the food chain

When she opened her first restaurant, she was 24, and being a female chef came with its own set of challenges. "When I started, the staff could not understand why this young woman was bossing them around. Even today they sometimes slip up and call me ma'am instead of chef. This my male

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