Maneet Chauhan, Chauhan Ale & Masala House
In case you are wondering, it can be hard to interview a celebrity such as Maneet Chauhan in the middle of a busy food festival. Not only is she a judge on Food Network’s Chopped, and a past chef on Iron Chef America, last Sunday when we spoke she was dressed in a powder blue tunic that sparkled with gold thread under the afternoon sun. So, we stole away for a few minutes to a quiet parking deck and chilled out in my 2005 Kia Sportage. That’s right. Fancy. And that’s how laidback and kind Maneet is, at least until the Iron Chef clock comes out. The mastermind behind Nashville’s Chauhan Ale & Masala House, she is a powerhouse in the kitchen, fusing flavors from her Indian childhood with new influences, including the hot kitchen of Nashville. She’s opening another Music City spot any day now, and I’ll be there to celebrate soon. But we took the time -- despite my wrecked voice -- to dig deep into a curry discussion and went from there.