Dalia David is the newest Indian American chef to show off her cooking skills on Food Network’s famed show, “Chopped.”
The New York-based private wellness chef, who also practices mediation and yoga, appeared on the May 15 episode of the cooking show.
In the first round of the episode titled, “Plum Luck,” the chefs found a classic Asian food in an innovative form and some plums. David reportedly prepared a pad thai salad with Asian vinaigrette over plums.
A tough cut of meat and a container full of an unusual mayonnaise product tested the chefs’ creativity in round two. Using the available ingredients, David prepared a warm quinoa salad with pan-seared steak.
Cereal cake, coconut jam, persimmons and almond butter invigorated the competition in the final round for which David reportedly made a gluten-free cake and cereal cake cream sauce with coconut jam.
Even though she didn’t win the competition, David mentioned on her Instagram that being on “Chopped” was a “wild experience,” adding that “no one is you and that is your power.”
“Going through a competition like ‘Chopped’ makes you stronger mentally,” she wrote. “A gentle nudge to anyone that feels what the judges think is the end all be all – your success is based on what you think of yourself not other ppl’s opinion!”
Her food philosophy is simple, she explains on her website. It should be healthy, delicious, and satisfy cravings. Her specialties, made from organic ingredients, are plant-based, gluten free, and vegan. To keep things balanced, she says, she also creates meat and fish-based meals based on the needs of the family.
David hails from a pineapple plantation in Kerala and spent her childhood on rice paddy fields surrounded by coconut trees and acres of banana trees, according to her bio. Coming from a farming family, her meals came from the earth and at a young age she became aware of how food nourished her body and provided strength for the day. This has influenced her food philosophy greatly, she says.
David is a trained chef from the Natural Gourmet Institute and studied plant nutrition at Cornell University.