Raji Jallepalli
Chef/Owner Restaurant Raji
2000:
The White House honored Raji, along with other notables in their field, as visionaries into the 21st Century in their "Imagine the Future" program.


Raji Jallepalli designs her food for today's lifestyle: healthy, light, and exploding with flavor. She believes in the discipline of French techniques, combining them with the exotic treasures of spices from her own India heritage, along with the freshness, simplicity and innovation of modern American cooking.

Raji originally started out studying microbiology and once had a successful career running diagnostic tests in endocrinology. But her love of food, the haunting flavors of her native India, and a curiosity about French cooking techniques transported her skills from the medical lab to the kitchen. In 1989, Raji opened The East India Company in Memphis, serving what she calls "Franco-Indian" food. At first, Raji's patrons were challenged by the restaurant's identity - people came in expecting curries, and she wanted it to be eclectic French. In time, they began to not only understand her cooking style, but admire it. Her fans are legion, not only in Memphis, but nationwide. Raji Jallepalli was nominated twice for a James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast region, and she was featured as a guest chef in many James Beard Foundation dinners. Raji was also invited to participate as a guest chef for the prestigious Masters of Food and Wine event at Highlands Inn in Carmel, California Articles about Raji Jallepalli have appeared in Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Elle, Bon-Appetit, Gourmet, Southern Living, Travel and Leisure, and Food Arts to name a few. She was also featured in the Great Chefs series, appeared on TV Food Network programs, as well as on CNN.

Raji was the key-note-speaker at the 1998 Graduating ceremonies of the Disney Culinary Institute. In 1999 she was one of the honored guests at the Kellogg's Institute in Michigan State University. As the part of millennium celebrations on January 1, 2000, The White House honored Raji, along with other notables in their field, as visionaries into the 21st Century in their "Imagine the Future" program. This event was covered live on C-Span. Raji Jallepalli is the chef/owner of the acclaimed Restaurant Raji in Memphis, Tennessee. Her first book, Raji Cuisine; Indian Flavors, French Passions is published by HarperCollinsPublishers.