Award-winning cooking instructor, Arvinda Chauhan has a lifetime cooking experience, ranging from all regions of India. She began professionally teaching in 1993 when she started Arvinda’s Healthy Gourmet Indian Cooking school (Arvinda’s Indian Cooking Classes). When her culinary passions flourished and outweighed what she was doing in her office job, she knew it was time to start sharing with other what she loved most—Indian cooking.
Arvinda’s inherent Indian culinary skills started to cultivate at the early age of 6, when her mother passed away suddenly. Having to look after her siblings and grandfather before and after school, her first cooking experiences included grinding fresh flour through a heavy grinding stone, pounding spices in a large mortar and pestle, and making chapattis on a Chulha, a coal-heated clay stove. Having this extensive childhood cooking experience has allowed Arvinda to teach Indian cooking intuitively, with a very natural and graceful approach.
Having an immense passion for art and inherent creative abilities since childhood, Arvinda engaged in painting and drawing. As a cooking instructor, recipe developer, consultant and artist, Arvinda views Indian cuisine as an art form—where her ingredients and spices make up her palette to make endless culinary creations.
Arvinda was an active member Women’s Culinary Network (WCN) and was a previous member of Cuisine Canada and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). In 2006, Arvinda was recipient of the Women’s Culinary Network’s Women of the Year Award for demonstrating professional growth and accomplishment in her chosen specialty—Indian cuisine, and for making notable impact on her profession and for demonstrating a commitment to the community by sharing her talent in ways that benefit individuals.
She’s been a guest chef at countless cooking school locations in Southern Ontario since 1993 including Great Cooks, Nella Cucina and the chef school at the Niagara Culinary Institute at Niagara College and at the Marché Jean-Talon in Montréal, Quebec.
She is a pioneer chef at Eat To The Beat, the premium annual fundraiser for Candian Breast Cancer Foundation featuring top women chefs in Ontario. Arvinda and Preena have contributed to Eat To The Beat since since 1996 at Casa Loma and subsequently at Roy Thompson Hall.
Arvinda has performed cooking demos and talks at various expos including Research Chefs Association, Women’s Health Matters Expo, The Ethnic and Specialty Food Expo, 34th World Vegetarian Congress, Toronto Vegetarian Association and Good Food Festival. Her recipes appeared in various publications including Toronto Life Magazine, Chatelaine Magazine, LCBO Food and Drink Magazine, Cooking Club of America, The Toronto Star and In House Magazine.
Arvinda has contributed her recipes to All Stirred Up: Over 150 of the Best Recipes from The Women’s Culinary Network cookbook (Random House Canada, 2003) and Eat to the Beat: A Celebration of Life and Food cookbook (Whitecap, 2002).
Arvinda and Preena have a self-published cookbook named after their cooking school entitled Healthy Gourmet Indian Cooking: A Simple and Healthy Look at Indian Cooking (Authorhouse, 2002, 2009 and self-published in 2013 under the title Arvinda’s Indian Home Cooking).
Arvinda is a passionate devotee to Ayurveda, India’s ancient healthcare system and shares her experience and knowledge with her cooking class students so they can incorporate that philosophy and cooking into their own lifestyle to lead happier and healthier lives.
Preena Chauhan is an Indian food expert, cooking instructor and entrepreneur who runs popular cooking classes in the GTA through the Arvinda’s Indian Cooking Classes where local, seasonal ingredients and fresh spices is the key to creating delicious, authentic Indian menus. She aspires to share her multi-textured, mouth-watering food moments with an audience of people enamoured with the foods of her culture.
Preena Chauhan teaches popular regional Indian cuisine featuring home-style, healthy dishes alongside her mother, Arvinda. Started in Oakville in the early 90s, their goal is to introduce their students to the immense variety of Indian specialties, highlighting delicious and popular dishes spanning the different regions of India. Their cooking classes unravel the secrets to Indian cooking making it easy, accessible and approachable for every day. Rated as Toronto’s Top 10 cooking schools from BlogTo.com.
Preena attained her Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) degree from York University and earned a Business and Environment Certificate from the Schulich School of Business. It was here she had the opportunity to start her own business, Arvinda’s—a line of premium Indian spice blends (www.arvindas.com). Launched in 2005 with her brother Paresh, Preena’s thesis was to develop a sustainability strategy for Arvinda’s line, now sold at health food stores, specialty retailers and grocery stores in Canada, selected locations in the US and now in Europe.
Preena was a guest lecturer on Indian cooking to the Niagara Culinary Institute at Niagara College in addition to being a guest speaker and instructor for numerous organizations and top cooking schools in Ontario. In 2008, she was named a ‘Local Food Hero’ by the Toronto Food Policy Council for promoting local food in her cooking activities, and also was a member of their board.
She co-authored Arvinda’s cookbook, Indian Home Cooking (2013) and participates in annual charity events such as Eat To The Beat since 1996. She appeared on Food Network Canada, Global, CFTO, City TV, OMNI and SUN TV and organized culinary tours to India for her cooking class students.
Over the course of the last 20 years, Preena has honed her Indian culinary skills, creating her own style of Indian cooking. Preena discovered some people may get intimidated by cooking with a vast array of unfamiliar spices. So through her Indian cooking classes she engages with the audience with an upbeat and simplified approach, encouraging them to cook with lots of spices for their bold flavour, their immense health benefits and to make food taste so delicious. Her favourite spice is turmeric, for the reason of being a ‘medicine chest’ for its wide-ranging health benefits which is why she created a blog, A Teaspoon of Turmeric to celebrate this beautiful ‘superspice’.