Chef Shack In India

Courtesy of Carrie Summer

Chefs Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer of Chef Shack are still on the road in Asia. A month ago, we published their postcard from Thailand — now we’re pleased to share some of their snapshots from India.

Chef Summer (posing above with fresh ginger drying in the sun at Fort Kochi) writes:

“We began our tour in Kolkata Feb. 1, working our way down south thru Chennai. We then arrived in the intriguing French-inflected Pondicherry, which had exquisite baguette and croissant, locals exclaiming ‘bonjour madame,’ and stately old heritage homes in which to stay.

Nutmeg harvest at Fort Kochi – Courtesy of Carrie Summer

Next on to the State of Kerala. This is a state of many riches — from the animal sanctuaries, to the Ayurvedic industry, to the fishing, which is just magnificent. Fish so fresh that we’ve spent much idle time on the piers and with the fishing boats just to check out the catch of the day.

Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi – Courtesy of Carrie Summer

The north and southern Indian cuisines are so very different — from the grains that make up the breads, to the butter and ghee in the curries up north, to the exclusive use of coconut products in the southern cuisines.

Fresh fish in Kovalam, India – Courtesy of Carrie Summer

We also have had a fantastic time in the heart of the world spice trading markets of Kerala. We’ve discovered what truely fresh spices look and taste like, in addition to exporting all of our own spices for our personal masalas this year.

Sovan, a spice trader – Courtesy of Carrie Summer

Our last stop will be in Mumbai, India’s financial capital — we’ll take in a gallery or two, walk the streets of open market bazaars, catch a Bollywood flick, and prepare for our 20-odd hour flight home to Minnesota.”

Learn more about this business in Heavy Table’s Atlas of Ethical Eating and Drinking.

A chef in Varkala; Summer and Carlson cooked with him for a night – Courtesy of Carrie Summer


  1. artsy

    Beautiful photos, great story, I love you Chef Shack Women!!! This goes well with a great film I stumbled onto last night, ‘The Unmistaken Child’, about a young monk whose beloved guru dies and the monk sets out to find the reincarnation of his teacher. The film follows the monk all over India as he gathers clues and information and interviews many young boys and finally finds the right one…

    Can’t wait for your Shack curries!!- Faith Lubitz Mpls

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