Born in Mumbai, Chintan became interested in the culinary world at a young age. When of age,
he enrolled in one of the most prestigious culinary schools in India, the Oberoi Centre of Learning
& Development where he trained under the finest chefs from Oberoi Hotels. During this time,
Chintan traveled throughout the sub-continent to develop a deeper connection with the way
locals ate and became well versed in the bold spices and dishes he came across.
Eventually Chintan left India for bigger opportunities. His culinary career took him to an
extremely diverse set of locales including Singapore, Cleveland, Atlanta, and finally New York. He
met restaurateur Roni Mazumdar in 2017 and became the chef at the modern and upscale Rahi,
followed by Adda Indian Canteen for which Chintan was the winner of the 2019 StarChefs New
York Rising Star, and Adda was named one of the best restaurants of the year by Food & Wine,
Eater, and Bon Appetit. In 2021 the duo opened Dhamaka, for which Chintan won The James
Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef New York State. The first win in this category for an Indian
chef. Serving food from “the forgotten India” it gave Chintan the opportunity to showcase the
foods he came across when traveling throughout the villages of India. Dhamaka was also named
the #1 restaurant of the year by The New York Times, Esquire Magazine, and one of the top 50
restaurants in the country by The New York Times.
In 2022, he and partner Mazumdar opened the quick service eatery Rowdy Rooster serving
Indian spiced fried chicken for which Food & Wine Magazine named them as one of 16 people
and companies changing the way we eat and drink in 2022.
Chef Pandya’s mission is to push the boundaries of what Indian food means in America. He
continues to break new ground on an under-appreciated but phenomenal cuisine.