Aarti Sequeira to speak at CU on India Night
Aarti Sequeira has been around the world, but she's never been to Oklahoma.
She was born in Bombay, India, but raised in Dubai during the first Gulf War. It was there that she decided to become a journalist. Sequeira received her formal education in a British school before coming to America, where she graduated from the prestigious Medill School of Journalism in Illinois.
After college, she went on to a career at CNN in New York, where she worked in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Sequeira helped share the story of the firefighters who responded to the attacks.
She went on to produce "Sand and Sorrow," an HBO documentary about the genocide in Darfur, narrated by George Clooney and directed by Peabody Award winner Paul Freedman.
Yet, in all of her globetrotting, she has never been to the Sooner State. But that's all about to change. Sequeira is preparing to serve as a cultural ambassador and guest lecturer at Cameron University's India Night celebration. She will be in attendance not as a world traveling journalist, but as a bona fide celebrity chef.
During her efforts to become the next Christiane Amanpour, Sequeira began to feel that something was missing. She had achieved her goals, sure. But she still felt as though there was more to life for her.
That's when her husband gave her a certificate to attend a local cooking program. It was then that Sequeira's passion for food was kindled into a fire.
"I was born hungry; I like to say that I was overachieving from the second I was born," Sequeira said, recalling her birth weight of 10 pounds. "I come from a family that is focused on celebrating every milestone through food."
Sequeira's love of food didn't happen in a vacuum. She grew up in some of the world's richest food cultures.
Her mother made a fish curry with green mangoes, while her Italian best friend created homemade pastas, and every Friday her family enjoyed Arabian spit-roasted shawarmas.
It was her parents who provided her with some of her warmest food memories. Her father's weekly trips to the market for fresh fish and produce, and her mother's daily recipe creations, both influenced Sequeira's future as a chef.
After earning her professional cooking certificate, Sequeira worked in the kitchen at Chef Suzanne Goin's Lucques.
Shortly afterward, she began blogging about the food she was creating with her husband in their tiny Los Angles kitchen in her YouTube series, "Aarti Paarti."
Sequeira went on to win Season 6 of the Food Network's "Food Network Star" reality competition with her signature flavor of "American favorites with an Indian soul." Her win led to the creation of her own Food Network show, "Aarti Party."
She went on to host "Taste in Translation," "Drop 5 lbs. with Good Housekeeping" and "Hidden Eats." Sequeira competed in, and won, "Chopped All Stars" and "Cutthroat Kitchen." She is also a frequent judge on "Guy's Grocery Games" and "From Duff Til Dawn." And she has contributed to "Guilty Pleasures," "Best Thing I Ever Ate," "Best Thing I Ever Made," "Unique Eats" and "Unique Sweets."