Anahita Dhondy is an Indian chef who is known for promoting the traditional Parsi food culture and the rich cuisine of India’s Zoroastrian community. In 2019, she was listed among the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list for her contribution towards food sustainability and for popularising Parsi cuisine. In 2021, Anahita penned her first book titled Parsi Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family Book.
Anahita Dhondy Bhandari was born on Thursday, 23 May 1991 (age 31 years; as of 2022) in Delhi. Her zodiac sign is Gemini. She did her schooling at the Springdales School in Delhi. She holds a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. From 2008 to 2012, she attended the Institute of Hotel Management in Auranagabad and The University of Huddersfield in England. In 2013, she graduated with a Le Grande Diplome in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in London. By the time Anahita was 10, she had already decided that she would beome a chef when she grows up.
A picture of Anahita Dhondy picking cherries in Cyprus in 1999
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Anahita belongs to a family of Parsis in Delhi.
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Navroze Dhondy, is an entrepreneur. Her mother, Nilufer Dhondy, is a home chef and baker. Anahita has a brother, Kurush Dhondy, who lives in London.
Anahita Dhondy with her father
Anahita Dhondy with her mother
A childhood picture of Anahita Dhondy and her brother while eating mangoes
On 17 November 2017, Anahita Dhondy got married to a lawyer named Arush Bhandari, who belongs to a Punjabi family.
Anahita Dhondy with her husband
After completing a Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome in London, Anahita Dhondy returned to India and teamed with veteran restaurateur A.D. Singh to launch the first SodaBottleOpenerWala at Cyber Hub in Gurgaon in 2013. At the age of 23, she began her career by working as a chef manager there. Later, she led the opening of multiple restaurant branches and worked for them for eight years straight. In 2009, she worked as a kitchen intern for Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. In 2010, she interned at Marriott International for three months. From May 2011 to May 2012, she worked as a kitchen management trainee at Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. During the first lockdown in India, Anahita and her mother started a weekend Parsi kitchen in their home through which they delivered home-cooked food in Gurugram. The food was highly appreciated which led them to expand their delivery services in Delhi NCR later. In 2022, Anahita Dhondy and the food & beverage entrepreneur Vishal Anand partnered with Moonshine Food Ventures LLP to establish a 150-seat restaurant named Glasshouse at Worldmark in Gurugram. Anahita levelled up her career by being appointed as the head chef for Glasshouse.
Awards & Achievements
- 2013: Times Food Guide & Nightlife Award for Noteworthy Newcomer
- 2017: ‘Indian of the Year’ in the hospitality sector as Chef Manager at SodaBottleOpenerWala
Anahita Dhondy receiving Indian of the Year in the hospitality sector as Chef Manager at SodaBottleOpenerWala in 2017
- 2018: Condé Nast Traveller’s Innovator of the Year
- 2019: Featured on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list for her contribution towards food sustainability and for popularising Parsi cuisine
Anahita Dhondy featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2019
- Restaurant(s): Kaizu (Japanese), COYA ( Latin-American) (Both restaurants are in Abu Dhabi, Arab Emirates)
- Food Market: Borough Market in London, United Kingdom
- When Anahita was studying in school, she used to help her mother in the kitchen, cooking dishes and icing cakes.
- In 2018, Anahita got the opportunity to speak at the UN in New York alongside the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
- In an interview, Anahita revealed that outside the professional kitchen, things that keep her busy include socialising, dancing, reading girly novels, listening to music, and cooking for her family.
- Anahita represented India and SodaBottleOpenerWala at the EAT Forum 2018.
- In 2017, she appeared as a judge in an all-women cooking TV show ‘Femme Foodies,’ which aired on Living Foodz.
Anahita Dhondy as guest judge on the TV series Femme Foodies (2017)
- In an interview, she revealed that she loved Prawn Patio especially those with pumpkin, brinjal, or a plain tomato patio. She also said that she and her Punjabi husband ate it twice a week.
- On 25 June 2021, Anahita wrote her first book titled Parsi Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family Book, which is based on Anahita’s collection of recipes including her grandmother’s Ravo, Bombay duck that was inspired by her travels through Gujarat, and the quirky tales behind her beloved dishes.
Anahita Dhondy’s book ‘Parsi Kitchen A Memoir of Food and Family Book’ published in 2021
- In an interview, while talking about her book ‘Parsi Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family Book,’ Anahita said,
Parsi Kitchen is a book that, I would say, is not just filled with recipes but has lovely and interesting stories in it. The stories are equally important because they give context to the recipes. The book has a beautiful collection of not only recipes but food pictures, stories, and contributions from all my family members. It took me five long years to put it together and it is my journey of stepping into my own cuisine. Through this book, I really want to make Parsi cuisine so famous that every week, one dish should be cooked in your home.”
- In an interview, Anahita revealed that when she was studying in London, she used to miss home-cooked food a lot; and while she was learning new cuisines, she began missing Parsi cuisine even more which is why she decided to learn more about Parsi food. She further added that she did not learn Parsi cuisine from any school or institute.
- Anahita considers her mother, grandmother, and aunts as her teachers who taught her how to cook.
- In an interview, while talking about popularizing Parsi flavours globally, Anahita said that she considered
Well, now it is my mission to make Parsi cuisine very popular not only in India but around the globe. I want people to cook Parsi dishes at least once or twice at their homes. They can make Parsi dishes as a part of their celebratory menu with dishes like Mava Cake, Dhansaak, and simple kadhi chawal. That is why I have got a complete book on the same. Additionally, I make a lot of videos on social media on Parsi recipes so that maximum information can be disseminated and recipes don’t die out. I am doing small pop-ups, and classes so that one day everyone will enjoy cooking Parsi food and one day it will become the most popular cuisine.”
- Anahita Dhondy consumes alcoholic beverages on several occasions.
Anahita Dhondy enjoying wine with her husband on New Year’s Eve