New York Times contest

What a thrill to find this clipping.  Every time someone asks, “How did you become a food writer,” I talk about this contest in the New York Times where my entry was chosen for the prize.  It was a half-page announcement in the New York Times.  Today, when I was cleaning out my filing cabinet, I found this clipping that describes the contest and the essay.  Thank you, Ruth Reichl, then restaurant critic of the New York Times, for choosing my essay and launching my career as a food writer.


Photo NYT best


  1. Hi Shoba

    I saw a movie called which I highly recommend to you. The movie is about an American-Indian (in NYC) sous chef who gets passed over for a promotion. His ailing father runs a “stock” desi restaurant in Queens – surly staff, greasy grub and dreary dreams. The chef returns to Queens when his father gets a heart attack and suddenly finds himself running the restaurant. Help arrives in the form of chef (and now taxi driver) Akbar (Naseeruddin Shah) who now teaches him about the “soul” of Indian cooking.

    Right up your alley. There is a sequence that is so-o you: Akbar arrives at the restaurant and finds it in tatters. He begins to make masala (using tin cups – just like your picture above), mixing it all to the tune of roop tera mastana, explaining to Akbar: “masala is the symphony, oil, where the masala blossoms, is the orchestra of Indian cooking”.

    The movie is called “Today’s Special”.


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