Born in Mumbai, Chintan Pandya immersed himself in hospitality from a young age, studying hotel management at the Oberoi School of Hotel Management in Delhi, India. He got his professional start at a hotel restaurant in Mumbai, spending eight years in the kitchen learning traditional Indian cuisine and techniques. After a brief stint in Singapore in 2009, Pandya traveled to Cleveland and Atlanta for consulting gigs. Landing in Manhattan, Pandya became the executive chef of Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Junoon.
In 2017, Pandya opened Rahi in the West Village, a casual and relaxed Indian bistro where comfort is king. Along with restaurateur Roni Mazumdar, the pair hopes to evolve Americans’ perception of Indian food, showing the varied regional cuisine in playful ways. In 2018, Pandya and Mazumdar opened a second restaurant, Adda, in Long Island City. At Adda, Pandya is making the traditional food he grew up with and explored throughout India instead of the Americanized dishes often associated with Indian cuisine. The restaurant earned two stars in The New York Times from Pete Wells and landed on Eater’s 2019 “Best New Restaurants in America” list. Next up, Pandya and Mazumdar will bring Indian home cooking to Manhattan’s Essex Market in fall 2019 with Dhamaka.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award