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.
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
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.