Laxmi Hiremath was not at all into cooking when she was growing up in India. If, two decades ago, someone had asked her if she wanted to become gourmet cook, she would have laughed. If they’d told her she would become a cookbook author and entrepreneur, she would have said, ‘No way!’And yet, that’s just what happened after she moved to the United States from her native India in the 1980s.
As a kid, she loved to watch her mother and grandmother in the kitchen. She sniffed around happily in the kitchen exclaiming, “Boy, does that smell good,” without ever offering to participate. But when she got to America, she was on her own the ‘freebie’ was over. In her new home in Columbus, Ohio, she rolled up her sleeves and tried to replicate what she had seen in her mother's kitchen. She’d call her for advice, and she’d always tell her, ‘No cutting corners!’ She set a certain standard of excellence and taught Laxmi not to compromise in the kitchen.
Laxmi started just as any beginner would do - making a series of mistakes, messing up recipes and even ending up burning breads. It was then that she resolved that she had to do something about it. She began by making conscious effort to be systematic and things got better. To her delight and her husband's relief, the first set of chewy and soft breads started to roll out. She had mastered the flatbreads! In the course of experimenting with different dishes, Laxmi’s skills improved, and she quickly developed the confidence to begin submitting her unique recipes to her local newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch. She responded to a query from a reader and sent in a recipe for Cabbage Rolls. Next day she got a call from the editor who told that she found the recipe interesting and would publish it the following week. Laxmi was excited to see her name in the newspaper. She continued to share recipes every week. Her first article sent to Bon Appétit, was about vegetarian dishes. She had handwritten it and not even paid much attention to editing. To her surprise, the editor called in to report that her story and recipes were ready to be published in the magazine. What first started as a hobby soon turned into a passion and commitment. About this time in 1987, after relocating to California Laxmi began contributing to the San Francisco Chronicle. Her articles generated considerable interest a few readers called to check if she had written a cookbook. Laxmi was flattered and determined to generate a collection of exciting recipes. That was how her first book, ‘Laxmi’s Vegetarian Kitchen,’ came to be published in 1995. The dance of spices she witnessed in her mother's kitchen as she expertly used the plethora of spices in preparing the seasonings is what Laxmi has brought to the American table. "The Dance of Spices" is a compilation of her most favorite recipes and her personal stories of failure and triumph in conquering one of the finest cuisines of the world. The book leads you every step of the way to bring the subtle, richly layered flavors of India's remarkable gastronomy. In conversation and in various media, Laxmi has offered reliable, authentic recipes to her readers, listeners, and viewers. She has done that extensively in the food pages of the San Francisco Chronicle, in Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Sunset, Veggie Life, Vegetarian Times and Fine Cooking among other publications and on television and radio shows such as KGO. The birth of Laxmi's Delights Laxmi's forte in balancing tastes and harmonious flavors, passion for food and innovative recipes, ultimately led to the creation of a line of boutique specialty foods. Her line of gourmet nuts proved extraordinarily popular with consumers from the moment the products hit the marketplace. Packaging the Organic Flaxseed Spreads, as the next best invention for Laxmi’s Delights product line was a natural, especially when she discovered that guests both adults and children at her home were gobbling them up with crackers, breadsticks, or right off the spoon! Golden Flaxseed Spread with Dates and Orange Juice was awarded Outstanding New Product 2007 Finalist by the NASFT. Flaxseed by itself is bland in taste but as a Spread it’s a Home Run! It’s nutritious, intriguing, very satisfying, and absolutely scrumptious. Many are using her organic spreads as an alternative to peanut butter, jam and mayonnaise.
Two decades later – a wonderful and fascinating culinary journey, Laxmi has made the transition from a reluctant presence in the kitchen to an innovative chef, skilled teacher, accomplished food writer and produced award winning gourmet foods. As an author, Laxmi’s cookbooks contain hundreds of recipes and have won great acclaim for their authenticity and for demystifying her native Indian cuisine.
Draegers; Tante Marie's Cooking School; Ferry Plaza;
Jane Dystel; Stacey Glick
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Harlow & Ratner;
CA NOW; Kids Wish Network; SPCA; Community Assitance for Retarded and Handicapped Inc.; Sierra Club; Fishes and Loaves;
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