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Meenakshi

JERSEY CITY, NJ

Meenakshi is a passionate foodie, avid traveler and founder of Your Friends Kitchen.  She discovered her love for cooking when she first moved to the United States from India.  A foodie at heart, she has traveled to 25+ countries and explored street foods and fine dining alike. 

Her passion for cooking food and hosting inspired her to create a platform for others to enjoy dining in the comfort of a warm, cozy, intimate setting and enjoy a delicious meal prepared with love and passion.  Her goal at your friends kitchen - Bring people together, one meal at a time!

 
 
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Adria Linda Sebisaho

HARLEM, NEW YORK CITY

I come from a culture where food is the center of all social interactions. We eat, cook, and grow food together. The harmony between our communal existence and the food we consume began thousands of years ago.  

I grew up sharing meals with anyone, strangers, friends, or family.  By age nine, I could cook many of the traditional dishes. I was involved in the daily activities of cooking around the house. I was privileged enough to grow up with a live-in household helper and a private professional chef. I fell in love with cooking while I watched them prepare our daily meals or special occasion meals.  

My love for cooking, the environment, and  cultures intensified once I left for college. As a Biology major, I was interested in human relationships with the environment around us, specifically how we consume and protect the environment. While I enjoyed my scientific background, I was involved in sociology, anthropology, and public health department.  Through cooking, I can share my love for cultures and the environment that sustains our lives.

 
 
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Diana Manalang

NEW YORK CITY

As a self-taught chef, I’ve learned the tricks of the trade from practice, research, and countless kitchen experiments. Now, after 15+ years of experience in the restaurant industry, I want to bring my culinary expertise directly to you.

My mission is to combine my industry knowledge and a personalized approach to create dishes and menus that are tailored to your personal taste buds, special dietary needs, and specific occasion.Check me out on www.tripadvisor.com as the #1 private chef in NYC!

 
 
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Leena Banerji

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ

For me, its not just the joy of cooking, it is also about sharing and enjoying a meal with friends and family. It’s the bonding, the banter and the festivity around it.  Growing up as an only child, I was kept away from the kitchen, as my mom(a fabulous cook herself) was always fearful of me getting hurt! But she loved cooking herself – the dishes in her repertoire were limited, but were unmistakably hers – to date, I struggle to reproduce that taste! Not only my mom, I was surrounded by some fabulous cooks growing up, each a master of her craft. I remember, my favorite thing to do was to collect recipes from each one of them. So, it is safe to say that my journey with food started with me trying to recreate their magic and perfecting the flavors and aromas that brought back happy memories of my childhood!

Another definitive influence in my food journey is the exposure to regional cuisines in India and across the Globe. I am born Malayali (Kerala, South India) and raised in Maharashtra – married a Bengali, who was raised in Lucknow (North India). Next phase of travels included our expat stints in South Africa & Singapore before finally deciding to settle down here in the US. As I absorbed these experiences and blended with my extended family and friends from across the globe – I have always tried to present this experience in the food that I create and share!

 
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Ainslie Binder

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY

Growing up, both my parents cooked, and my sisters and I ate meals together as a family. I started cooking early, and even received "Beard on Bread" as a birthday present when I was 9! My passion for fresh, home-cooked meals continued to develop as I raised my own children. I believe in locally-sourced and produced ingredients and have no qualms about any type of cuisine. One of the great things about living in New York City is being able to find almost anything! Professionally, I have spent most of my career in news and documentary production, but I am transitioning into becoming a personal chef. I think it's important for people in large urban areas to stay connected to each other and the food we consume.