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Bombay-native Raghavan Iyer (www.raghavaniyer.com), a Certified Culinary Professional, and a member of The International Association of Culinary Professionals and The James Beard Foundation, has acquired degrees in Chemistry (Bombay University), Hotel, and Restaurant Management (Michigan State University). He is a cookbook author, culinary educator, spokesperson and consultant to numerous national and international clients including General Mills, Bon Appetit Management Company, Target and Canola. He helped launch an Indian Meals program for Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO) and trained all their chefs across the United States in Indian cuisine. The training's success fueled BAMCO to hire him to now train them in global vegan cooking. He helped design shelf-stable, Indian, ready-to-eat meals for Target's Archer Farms brand. In 2008, he was named a 2008 Sustainable Seafood Ambassador for the prestigious Monterey Bay Aquarium. He also finished a commercial project as the consulting Executive Chef for an upscale/casual Indian-themed restaurant that opened September 2009 in downtown Minneapolis to rave reviews.

Iyer is the author of Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking (Wiley, 2001), The Turmeric Trail: Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood (St. Martin's Press, 2002) - 2003 James Beard Awards Finalist: Best International Cookbook, and the recently published "660 Curries" (April 2008, Workman Publishing, New York). "660 Curries" has been short-listed among the top cookbooks for 2008 by National Public Radio, The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Food and Wine Magazine, among many others. The book has been named 2008 Best Asian Cookbook in the United States by World Gourmand Awards. He received the highly coveted 2004 International Association of Culinary Professional's Award of Excellence (formerly the Julia Child Awards) for Cooking Teacher of the Year, and was a Finalist for a 2005 James Beard Journalism Award as a contributing writer for EatingWell Magazine. His numerous articles have appeared in national food publications like Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, Saveur, Weight Watchers Magazine, Cooking Pleasures and the internationally renowned literary food magazine Gastronomica.

Iyer is co-founder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd. (www.asianculinaryarts.com), an organization dedicated to the preservation, understanding, and enjoyment of the culinary arts of Asia. He currently serves on the board of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

An accomplished and prolific culinary instructor at many international, national, and local venues, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Annual Conferences in Phoenix, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montreal, Dallas, Seattle, and Chicago. With over 24 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Iyer is also fluent in more than six languages. Annually, he leads food and cultural tours to India.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows across the United States and Canada including Martha Stewart Radio, "The Splendid Table" (an American public radio show with Lynne Rossetto Kasper), "A Chef's Table" with Jim Coleman (WHYY Philadelphia - NPR affiliate), WGN Morning News (WGN Chicago), "Good Day Atlanta" (WAGA TV - Fox Affiliate), "Good Day Tampa" (Fox Affiliate Tampa), "The Morning Show" (KARE 11 - NBC Affiliate in Minneapolis/St. Paul), and the "Vicki Gabereau Show" (national Canadian television talk show). He is a frequent guest on Twin Cities Live (KSTP TV - ABC affiliate) since 2007.

A vadaa fresh from the cooking oil. Credit: Raghavan Iyer

Around the 4th century BCE, poetic sage Valmiki penned the Ramayana, the story of Rama, an epic that transpired during the fourth eon in

Coconut Dumplings by Raghavan Iyer

Shiva has a temper as gargantuan as his persona, but that is to be expected from the god who destroys all evil.  If you invoke his

Chai by Raghavan Iyer

The recent downpours in Mumbai invoked the college memories of chai, that impeccable cup of milky brown brew, black tea steeped with ginger, cardamom

Indian kichidi

Indian food lovers in the United States often have a vague concept of what biryanis are -- a perception that stems from Indian restaurants


Gopala, Shyam, Mohan, Govinda … the charmer with several names, is best known as Krishna, the blue-blooded reincarnation of Vishnu, the Preserver.  Krishna was born


It was that time of the week. The servant had swept and mopped the floors around the house and then headed for the bathroom


The richest contribution the British made to India, in my mind, was the introduction of the railway in 1851. Their legacy continues to chug


Before I try to define the word “curry,” let me create an image for you from my college laboratory days in India where I