Good EatsJune 17, 2014
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Meherwan Irani learned to cook from his mother. And while he is not unique in that respect, he must be one of the few chefs in the country who asked his mother to train the kitchen staff, too. The menu at Chai Pani, a color-splashed bastion of citrus and spice in Asheville, North Carolina, is rooted in the flavors of the chef’s childhood in northern India, and for good reason. Irani spent more than a decade in sales and marketing before he opened his restaurant five years ago. Although he is hardly a novice, his resume consists of hours logged in his own kitchen and under his mother’s tutelage, not in restaurants or culinary schools.