Charismatic, openly gay, Indian-American Chef Preeti Mistry first caught our attention as a fan favorite on the sixth season of Bravo’s Top Chef. She currently heads up Oakland’s acclaimed, creative-Indian venue Juhu Beach Club, helping fill out the city’s buzzing culinary landscape and its prolific female chef scene.
Born in London and raised in Ohio, Mistry moved to San Francisco in 1996 with her girlfriend, Ann Nadeau (they’ve been together for over 18 years now), and landed chef gigs at Google and SF’s de Young Museum. Inspired by trips that the couple took to Mumbai during 2011, Juhu Beach Club began life as a pop-up restaurant in San Francisco. A Mission District brick and mortar followed, and, in 2013, a move to Oakland’s hip Temescal neighborhood.
While taking cues from Mumbai’s senses-stirring street food and spices, Mistry’s dishes are inventive, fresh, and original, including slider-style sandwiches called pavs, vegetarianguju chili, and crisp cilantro lemonade. In a playful nod to street-food style, the dishes and cups resemble disposable paper and plasticware, yet are sturdy and reusable. Mistry, who tweets under @chefpmistry, shares her Oakland musts, Top Chef secrets, and, of course, travel tips!