Shagun Mehra’s hunger for creativity saw her demonstrate her culinary skills on her own YouTube channel. From that, her passion and flair has resulted in her becoming a judge on Indian television show Femme Foodies, advocating women working as professional chefs.
Co-judging the show, which airs on international network Living Foodz, came as a surprise to Shagun. “The show randomly contacted me on Facebook,” she said. “They had come across my YouTube channel and found my profile very exciting.”
Being on the show is a real thrill for Shagun, as it provides a platform to a gender still underrepresented in the industry.
Although a woman may usually head a domestic kitchen, female chefs in a commercial kitchen are still few and far between,” she said. “Although it is slowly changing, I’m delighted to advocate women working within gastronomy.
Shagun also works as a chef and sommelier at Coco Shambhala, a collection of luxury villas in the Indian state Goa. “I love the platform I’m standing on. It does not tie me down, and allows me to create freely. It’s very fulfilling,” she said. “I love going out of my way to create memories through food and dining. My other responsibilities include creating new and exciting experiences, making it bespoke for each guest.”
For the future, Shagun is open-minded. “The only constant in life is change. I believe in evolving,” she said. “Whether Coco Shambhala expands across India or I go into making my own wine, I hope the future is equally, if not more, exciting than now.”
Studying at Les Roches was an experience Shagun would recommend to anyone. “The location is enriching in itself,” she said. “Plus, the experience of being in an international school can be of great learning. There are so many students from around the world – I made friends from China, France, Mauritius and many more! The cross-culture influence of language, food and lifestyle was highly enriching for me.”
Shagun believes Les Roches gave her the skills she needed to succeed in a challenging industry. “My program was well-rounded and I learnt skills in housekeeping, service, operations and management,” she said. “It’s a brilliant program with an incredible selection of teachers and guides.”