This Chef Uses Ayurveda to Create Dishes from Around the World

Taking extended breaks to travel the world, international culinary expert Mariko Amekodommo never forgets to bring back secret ingredients, techniques and a ton of recipes
Chef's famous Pineapple Fried Rice
Chef's famous Pineapple Fried Rice

How has the transition been from the world of corporate finance and marketing to the culinary world
It was quite easy because I was going back to my roots. When I moved to Asia I accepted corporate positions to help with my visa requirements and paycheck. Given how big a travel hub Asia is, I was able to have more adventures. If I was craving noodles, I could head to Thailand for the weekend. If I wanted dim sums, Hong Kong was a few hours away. Going back to the culinary world felt like my creativity was back. I still consult in marketing though, and own an India-based company, Mariko Communications. 

What made you take the leap from Hollywood to Bollywood
It was actually part of a grand love story I was living in Vietnam and working on PR for a travel-tech conference and he was the keynote speaker brought in from Mumbai. We started chatting and a month later, I came to visit. It was my first trip to India and it instantly felt like home. A few months later, I packed up everything and here I am. 

Tell us a little about your tryst with Ayurveda
It was completely unexpected. It&rsquos funny, I think most foreigners either subscribe to Ayurveda or Yoga while in India. Initially, when I had moved here, I used to fall sick quite frequently. Someone referred me to an Ayurveda clinic. I began studying it more. For me it was not just a fad diet. I was able to blend international cuisines with Ayurvedic recipes. Most Ayurvedic experts and followers stick to traditional diets like khichdi, chaas, and dal. I incorporate the same principles but create unique recipes from around the world. This is what makes people more excited and committed to the Ayurvedic lifestyle and food. 

An Indian dish that you can&rsquot get enough of 
It has to be either street dosa (sada or chilli cheese) or anything tandoori. 

An iconic LA dish that you miss having in Mumbai 
I miss the street tacos and maple bacon doughnuts. I&rsquove tried them in other places, but it&rsquos never the same. 

Chef Reccommends&nbspMariko&rsquos Signature Dishes That You Can&rsquot Miss Pineapple Fried Rice 
It is one of the most requested recipes in my &lsquoFlavors of southeast Asia&rsquo virtual culinary class. The recipe also works well with cauliflower rice and other grains like quinoa. 

Coconut Macaroons 

These tiny treats will tide you over until dinner and prevent extra snacking. Add your favorite chopped nuts for an extra protein kick. 

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