Episode 30: Dishing on Working Motherhood & Lessons from an Uncertain Year with Food Network’s Maneet Chauhan
Live Date: Monday, October 26, 2020
Show Description: We are thrilled to have Maneet Chauhan on today! Maneet is an Indian American chef, television personality, restaurateur, author of the multiple cookbooks, including her brand new “Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India,” James Beard award winner, and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She’s been featured as a judge on Food Network’s “Chopped,” and she’s appeared on “The Next Iron Chef,” “The View,” “Iron Chef America,” the “Today Show” on NBC, and as a judge on Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America.” If reading those last few sentences didn’t make you tired enough, she’s also a busy working mother, wife, friend. Maneet and Heather’s kids go to the same school outside of Nashville. Today, they chat about the beauty and the self-imposed guilt of working parenthood, how Maneet found her way to the culinary industry, overcoming the fear of failure, leading through uncertain times, relying on industry peers during tough times, lesson learned from COVID, as well as working and owning a business with your spouse.
- Maneet is truly juggling it all every single day. While she certainly deals with the guilt that comes from working outside the home, she also sees what it is teaching her kids from a young age. Maneet believes her children will grow up knowing they can do anything they set their mind to because they’ve watched her grow, struggle, and build a successful business.
- As a restaurateur, Maneet’s business was one of the first affected by COVID-19 and its subsequent shutdown. She’s taken so much away from this time, but a few lessons learned include:
- Rely on others. Maneet found so much solidarity and solace in other restaurant owners these last few months. Talking with others in the food industry reminded her that she wasn’t alone and allowed her to bounce ideas off of others who knew what she was going through.
- Always be innovating. If this year has taught her anything, it’s that you can’t get too comfortable in your business. Even when projections look good, and you are on the right path, you must always anticipate roadblocks and be able to innovate and pivot.
- Take care of your people. From the very beginning, Maneet has done all she can to take care of her work family. This time has allowed her to support, encourage, and provide, however she can.
- A few years ago, Maneet made a lifestyle change to create a healthier and more balanced life for herself, but also to be a healthy example for her children. Here are a few changes she made:
- Track food and activity in MyFitnessPal
- Get 10,000 steps a day, every day
- Apple cider vinegar in the morning
- Indulging sometimes, to keep her on track most of the time
- Be aware and plan ahead
- “I say it’s like walking with your heart on the outside of your body, the minute that they come out. And, then you just stress about everything related to them until you, I guess, pass away.” – Heather Adams 5:03
- “My mom was one of the very few moms who was working in the small town that I grew up in. So to me, I naturally thought that my future would involve a career, right?” – Maneet Chauhan 7:52
- “The fact that these kids see it at home – be it mommy doing something, be it daddy doing something – there being that mutual respect. Both of them achieve what they want or what their mind is set on. I think that that’s very important because that education starts at home.” – Maneet Chauhan 10:40
- “Very early on, I realized that food was one of the biggest connectors of all time.” – Maneet Chauhan 16:51
- “I wouldn’t have had the faith to do what I am if they didn’t have the faith that I would succeed in whatever I want to.” – Maneet Chauhan 19:35
- “The most incredible part is that it has given me a lot of faith in the human race.” – Maneet Chauhan 29:58
Resources and Links from Show:
- Culinary Institute of America
- Maneet’s “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” Ted Talk
- Morph Hospitality Group
- Chauhan Ale & Masala House
- The Mockingbird
- “Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India: A Cookbook”