US-India Global Review

Pujol in Mexico City connected her to Olivera, who eventually tapped Soto-Innes to helm his U.S. spinoffs. She received the ris- ing star chef award from the James Beard Foundation for 2016. At Atla and Cosme, servers and bartenders must frequently lean in to explain dishes - memela, tlayu- da - from Oaxaca and Puebla and Mexico City. She has more she wants to teach, from encouraging kindness in the restaurant indus- try to educating diners "that Mexican food can be contempo- rary." It is already working. One magazine's recent headline blared that Atla was a "restaurant designed for how New Yorkers eat now." Preeti Mistry Juhu Beach Club and Navi Kitchen, California As one of three girls in her Ohio household, Preeti Mistry viewed cooking with suspicion. It was "just another household chore I didn't want any part of," she recalls. "But I liked to eat. I was always really curious." It was only at age 19, when she moved with her now-wife, Ann Nadeau, to San Francisco's Mission neighborhood, that she began whipping up vegetarian dishes for their friends. At the urg- ing of Ann and her friends, she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in London. She landed a job as a chef at Google, then was selected as a contestant on "Top Chef," where she was booted in the third episode of Season 6, but had made her name known. Ann nudged her again, this time to follow through on her dream of opening a pop-up, Juhu Beach Club, in a dodgy liquor store near their place in San Francisco, before it moved to Oakland. The menu includes a fiery riff on Cracker Jack, duck salad in a tamarind dressing and pav, rough- ly described as Indian sliders. At Navi Kitchen, she serves pizza. What of it? On the walls of Juhu Beach Club, which she will probably close this year, she took pains to hang photos of her family and friends not in exotic settings but as their lives really were, in London, in Trinidad and in the United States. "I'm not trying to re-create something that exists in India," she says. "This is about the jour- ney." 50 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018 Daniela Soto-Innes helms two modern Mexican restaurants, Cosme and Atla, in NewYork City. Photo by Fiamma Piacentin. "This is about the journey," says chef Preeti Mistry. Photo by Alanna Hale.