Image Courtesy: Kishi Arora’s Instagram
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Kishi Arora is a Delhi-based pastry chef with a green thumb. Born to parents who loved to take care of plants, she was encouraged to plant herbs and vegetables and even grew them while working as a pastry chef at the Four Seasons in San Diego.
Arora decided to move back to Delhi with her parents in a rented apartment after living in San Diego for a few years. A passionate horticulturist at heart, she saw the open terrace of her building as an open space to get her hands in the mud and make something beautiful out of it.
Over time, Arora’s passion and dedication quickly transformed the barren terrace into lush, green terrain. Her mother initially expressed her concerns that the owner had a problem with this, but the garden turned out to be so beautiful that no one objected.
Soon they moved into their own house and the chefpreneur got her own C-shaped terrace on which she used a quarter of her land to create her own urban garden filled with plants and vegetables.
Arora’s owner in San Diego was a horticulturist and she quickly developed an interest in this field. Experimental in nature, she planted a vanilla bean to observe its growth in Delhi’s climate. She said growing vegetables and caring for plants is something that brings a sense of peace to her life. The pastry chef said that although people during lockdown have now slowly shifted their focus to gardening as a fun hobby, she’s been pretty much in this game for almost five years now.
Apart from devoting herself to gardening, Arora and her mother Kanan Bala also indulge in making sauces and chutneys, due to the huge demand for organic products and products. Bala runs a home catering business and uses vegetables from her daughter’s harvest to prepare her food.
Witnessing an increase in demand and popularity on his social media, Arora further decided to grow broccoli, five kinds of radishes, edible flowers, different types of lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, arbi, carrot, brinjal and many others. She also started growing herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and basil.
Aroar puts a lot of thought into growing his plants. She grew several flowering plants and magnolia flowers in front of her mother’s window so that she could give her a pleasant view to wake up to each morning. She also filled her balcony and the sewer pipes in the garden of her house with plants to make her house more beautiful.
Having lost his father three years ago, Arora mentions that he loved and appreciated nature very much, just like his mother. Planting such flowers and vegetables is therefore a great way for his mother to feel happy and stay connected to him.
Arora uses her strong social media base as an opportunity to connect with other plant lovers and form networks with them. She has had followers who have given her seeds from various places which she is looking forward to planting at home, due to the good temperature and weather conditions.
Planning to build a community where people who want to grow certain plants can trade their cuttings or seeds, Arora knows things are looking positively green! She frequently sources her seeds or saplings from places such as London, Arizona, Kumbakonam and Travancore. With her current idea of building a thriving community, she is just getting started.
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