“I’m not just saying this because I am Indian, but to me the most beautiful place on earth is Kerala, India. The people are beautiful, both inside and out. The scenery is breathtaking. The food is incredible. It’s just all about serenity and wellness in mind and body. Picture yoga, simple healthy food, and heavy influences from the nearby ocean as the way of life.


“When we were there, we went out on a fishing boat, but these were very different boats than what we were used to. There was no motor, and there were no paddles. The boatman used a pole to move the boat in the same way someone would use a crutch to walk, embedding it into the sea floor and then pushing forward. It was obviously a very slow way to go, but it is indicative of the overall way that they live. Moving the boat without a paddle or motor not only does not disturb the fish, it [also] doesn’t disturb the fishers. It makes it so tranquil. There was a small coal stove on the boat, and we ate the mussels and fish that we caught right then and there.

“It is also a very tight knit community of family. There were always lots of uncles and aunts around. One could go to their uncle and aunt’s house to get cinnamon right off  their cinnamon tree and then go to another farm for fresh milk. It brought a new meaning to ‘farm to table.’

“I have never lived outside of a bustling city and I do love it. I love the lights, the energy and the endless things to do. I can’t imagine not having a Duane Reade right around the corner or a Starbucks on every block. It is so amazing though, to see this incredibly beautiful and simple way of living. The people rely on what they have and live well from it. It was just a gorgeous trip, and the perfect way to unwind and reset myself.”

Interview by Leigh Simonini

Visit Chef Jehangir’s Restaurants: Graffiti