Karen Anand - Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF)


Widely accepted as one of India’s first food gurus, Karen has been at the forefront of the International food revolution in the country. In addition to writing extensively on the subject of food and wine for over 30 years, she has also set up a gourmet food products business under her own brand, run a successful chain of food stores, had a niche catering business, anchored top rated TV shows, started a Gourmet Academy and now consults for multinationals and International hotel and restaurant chains…and still manages to find the time to cook!

Karen Anand was born in Bombay but grew up in London and studied in Paris. She has a degree from Sussex University and Diplomas from the Sorbonne, Ecole des Sciences Politiques and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. She returned to India in 1984 and decided to dabble in cooking, until then a hobby, which eventually turned into a path breaking career. In the late 80’s, unable to find half way decent European food outside five star hotels, she set up a salad bar first in Pune and then in Bombay. Both were runaway successes and the first of their kind in the country. This was the beginning of what was to be a life of extensive travel, visiting gourmet shops, markets and food fairs wherever she went.

She started writing about her travels and soon became one of the most respected names in the country in the field of food and travel writing. She has had established columns in The Independent, Bombay Times, Pune Times, Good Housekeeping, BBC Good Food magazine and Hindustan Times Brunch. She was the first Food Editor of ELLE India. Her present column on Food & Travel is in the Sunday Telegraph. She also contributes regularly to Condé Nast Traveller. Food and travel writing is a passion which takes her around the world, where she reports and reflects with depth, complexity and generosity… and with great style.

A prolific author with 20 books under her belt, she also hosted the Good Food Guide, a 52 episode travel food show for Star TV (the first of its kind in India in 1995) followed by Cook Na Kaho (Don’t call me a Cook) also for Star TV and a 12 part series on Mumbai restaurants for Trend Mill CNBC. She co-authored the best seller Penguin Food Lover’s Guide to India and Nepal, a selective and personalized restaurant guide, followed by Lean Cuisine Curries (Harper Collins, 1998) and a CD ROM, Creative Cooking for the City Couple (Times Multimedia, 2001). She launched Karen Anand's International Cooking in 2003 that went on to become a bestseller. Simple Cooking for Smart Men, the first in a 12 series of books for young people, was launched in June 2005 (Westland), Healthy Food for Superkids (Westland 2007), Good Food Good Living (Harper Collins 2011), Less is More (Times Group Books 2013), Hyatt Chefs Table (Graff 2017). She also authored the yearly Times Food Guide culminating in the Times Food Awards for Pune for 7 years.

Since, 1995, Karen Anand has been sought after as a Food Consultant, advising Multinationals and large Indian food companies on the development of new products, menus, recipes and promotions. Companies she has worked with include Marico, Jet Airways, Domino’s Pizza, Hindustan Lever, ITC Foods, Philips, Foster’s, Veneta Cucine, Kelloggs, PepsiCo, Britannia, Hafele, Miele, Carlsberg, William Grant and more recently Diageo.

As a restaurant consultant, she has worked with Old World Hospitality (India Habitat Centre) Delhi, Hilton Delhi, Khyber Bombay, Citrus Chennai, Fine Dine Mumbai, Merlot Pune, Afraa Kolkata and Pesto Pesto Pune, Svatma Thanjavur. Karen has worked with Team Work Arts for their festival, India by the Bay in Hong Kong and conducted Master classes at the luxury award winning Spa, Ananda in the Himalayas.

Internationally, she contributed to the concept research and menus for the highly successful restaurant, Dishoom, a Bombay style café in London. Today she is Food and Beverage Consultant to the Forbes nominated Indian restaurant Colonel Saab in London. Karen wrote and edited the recipes for the spice brand Suhana for the UK which won the Great Taste Award UK in 2010.

Karen and her husband Yadu Sankalia are the founders of the hugely successful Markets by Karen Anand, a whole foods, curated food and drink fair all over India. They were also part of the team that brought Taste of Mumbai (part of the International Taste food fairs UK) to India. Together, their main focus today is the line of gourmet products under the K’s Kitchen www.kskitchen.in and KA Gourmet brands which is available in luxury hotels throughout the country.

In October 2006, Karen was awarded the prestigious Food & Spirit Award (Trophée de l’Esprit Alimentaire) for Culture from the French Government. She was part of the International judging panel at Vinitaly, for 2 years running (2006 – 2008). In 2019, she won the French Ambassadors Travel Writers Award.

Karen Anand lives in Pune, a small university town outside Mumbai. She has 2 sons and is married to Yadu Sankalia.
Website: www.karenanand.net
Blog: thekarenanandblog.com
Instagram: karen_anand