At D’Artagnan we are proud to work with chefs across the nation, providing them with quality ingredients to express their creativity in the kitchen. One such chef is a very special woman named Kiran Verma, who traveled all the way from Houston to compete in our Cassoulet War in NYC last February (she won the Most Daring Cassoulet award). Read on to learn more about Kiran, who is known as the “godmother of Indian fine dining.”
Chef Kiran Verma is a self-taught chef who has been guided by her Indian upbringing and a love of fine cuisine. She defines her cooking as a combination of cultures, philosophies, and techniques.
Indeed, her cassoulet was heavily spiced and fragrant in a manner unique to Indian cuisine, and it was a favorite of the guests and the judges. A winning combination of Indian spices, French cassoulet, and Texas chili, it was an unforgettable cassoulet.
Chef Kiran opened her eponymous restaurant in Houston, TX in 2005, and relocated it to the Upper Kirby neighborhood of the city in January 2017. Named Best New Restaurant by Zagat in 2006, and honored with the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator, it is known for serving up Indian hospitality, with French sophistication and American informality.
Kiran’s award-winning wine list of over 300 labels complements the delicate flavors of the food, and she offers monthly wine dinners, along with afternoon tea – featuring her own chai blend – every Friday and Saturday.
Have a look at this cover story in Texas Monthly’s November issue to read about a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition at Kiran’s.
What was the first kitchen job you held?
I was a cashier at Luther’s Bar-B-Q.
Has any crazy stuff happened during your time in the kitchen? What takes the gold medal?
My dishwasher got drunk on leftover wine from wine glasses. I had to ask the police not to arrest him, and told them he was my son. They knew he wasn’t of course, but let him go.
Favorite music to work to in the kitchen?
I don’t listen to music. I prefer a very silent kitchen.
What’s your favorite post-shift snack?
Cereal when I get home. And the cereal mix is one I make with a couple of different cereals and granola.
Favorite meal to cook at home?
Eggs any way.
What is your favorite D’Artagnan product?
Rack of lamb, bison ribeye and venison rack.
Name one ingredient you can’t live without
And one you’d be glad to never work with again?
Weirdest or most interesting ingredient you’ve ever cooked with?
I was on Beat Bobby Flay and the secret ingredient they gave me was flank steak and I had never ever worked with that. The only thing I knew about that cut of meat was to beat the hell out of it to make it tender. So if you watch that little piece, it was pretty weird for me to beat any ingredient which I am going to cook with. I am used to handling every piece of protein or vegetable with lots of tender care. I saw myself look crazy beating flank steak.
What is your fondest food memory?
Having dinner with my children at Daniel.
If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be? And what would you eat?
Chef Georges Perrier. His food with my spices.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
An architect or interior designer.
Thanks, Chef Kiran for talking with us!
Chef Kiran is a participant in former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to Schools” campaign. She supports Akshaya Patra, AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse), Houston Area Parkinson Society, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Symphony, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, M.D. Anderson, Pratham, Recipe for Success, Virtuosi of Houston and UNICEF among others.
Tickets to the 5th Annual Cassoulet War on February 18, 2019 are available.
Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.
Are you a business looking to serve or sell D’Artagnan? We invite both chefs and food retailers to reach out and become D’Artagnan customers.