Pooja’s Podcast

NoSugarCoat is a no-holds bar conversation that brings to light the stories behind restaurant walls and kitchen doors. The delectable eats you experience are all thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of chefs, restaurants, and visionaries from the hospitality industry. Hosted by pastry chef and owner of Le15 Patisserie, Pooja Dhingra, every episode features a conversation with a chef or someone from the food industry about where their passion for food began, their trials and tribulations, and what it took to get to where they are today.


Episode 0- “For Starters”

Welcome to Pooja Dhingra’s brand new podcast, NoSugarCoat where she talks to chefs, entrepreneurs, friends and mentors about the blood, sweat, tears and all other ingredients that go into making it in the food industry.

In this teaser episode Pooja sits down with Mae of Maed in India, to discuss,
-Her plans for world domination
-How to order macarons from Le 15 patisserie anywhere in the country
-Giving up sugar
-What to expect from this season of NoSugarCoat by Pooja Dhingra!

Tune in to the first episode of NoSugarCoat out on September 10th featuring Chef Pablo Naranjo Agular from Le 15 Cafe.

Episode 1- “Pablo Naranjo Agular”

1 Chef’s knife
A slightly drunk parrot
Many sunny side up eggs
1 finely washed radish
An unmarked pork shoulder
3 Michelin Star Restaurant
2 Michelin Star Restaurant
1 Michelin Star Restaurant
Some Bhut Jholakia to taste
And one pink latte to go

On this episode of NoSugarCoat, Pooja talks to Chef Pablo Naranjo Agular from Le 15 Cafe in Mumbai who grew up in Colombia and trained at Le Cordon Bleu before moving to India a few years ago.

Episode 2- “Thomas Zacharias”

A bound book of Grandma’s recipes
1 asparagus
Some phodshi
1 year at Le Bernadin
An epic journey through India
A fateful meeting with Massimo Bottura
Bowls of drumstick soup
Lots of karaoke 
A generous helping of Irksome Bliss

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja chats with Chef Thomas Zacharias from The Bombay Canteen. Trained at Culinary Institute of America, Thomas  has previously worked at Le Bernadin in New York and Olive in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Episode 3- “Garima Arora”

Some American cheese slices
1 supportive Dad
1 injured finger
1 Job in Paris
1 Job in Dubai
1 Job in Copenhagen
Some important lessons in humility
A large amount of love for Bangkok

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja sits down with Chef Garima Arora of Restaurant Gaa in Bangkok. This Le Cordon Bleu trained chef has worked in some of the best restaurants in the world including Noma and Gaggan. She now runs her own restaurant in Bangkok.

Episode 4- “Gary Mehigan”

10 Seasons of Masterchef Australia Over 30 years of being a chef
The perfect eclair
5.5 million people
1 lemon curd tart
1 rustic butter chicken recipe
Brutal 12-14 work hours for 10 days straight
Mix well and fold into one laccha paratha

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja calls up Gary Mehigan in Australia. Trained in London, Gary is one of the most popular chefs in Melbourne. And of course, he is a judge on the extrmely popular cooking show, Masterchef Australia!

Episode 5- “Matt Chitharanjan”

Start with a boring finance job
Add unlimited cups of coffee
The plume of a peacock
7 tons of coffee beans
One super hot dry cappuccino
Mix well with 100% Arabica coffee
Enjoy your cuppa!

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja learns all about coffee from Matt Chitharanjan of Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters. Matt and his wife Namrata built this online coffee business starting from their home and currently run multiple cafes and barista training workshops alongside their subscription company.

Episode 6- “Maunika Gowardhan”

1 self-taught cook
Some kharvas
A private yacht
A beagle
8 attempts at the perfect pulao
Stir with Jamie Oliver
Garnish with tons of dhaniya
A dollop of pineapple chutney
Served with homemade prawn pickle on the side

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja talks to chef and writer Maunika Gowardhan. Based in the UK, Maunika specialises in authentic indian cuisine and her cookbook Indian Kitchen is a bestseller. Even Mindy Kaling loves it!

Episode 7- “Kelvin Cheung”

Take 1 Chicago chef
1 big leap of faith
9 months of struggle
1 aggressive fishmonger
Some CrossFit
A Night that shall not be talked about,
Multiple picklebacks!

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja talks to her friend and chef Kelvin Cheung. Raised and trained in the US, Kelvin moved to India 6 years ago to run Ellipsis and is currently the chef at Bastian in Mumbai.

Episode 8- “Prateek Sadhu”

1 “super simple” lobster and avocado salad
100 kilos of peeled walnuts
A zero-waste kitchen
A hint of wild lavender
A whole bunch of sea buckthorn
1 purple sweet potato & coffee sorbet
Mix in nostalgia for Kashmiri home-cooking
Serve with some collard greens on the side

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja chats with Chef Prateek Sadhu. Originally from Kashmir, he trained at CIA and has worked in restaurants across the US. After spending time in Noma in Copenhagen, he returned to India and is currently the chef at Masque in Mumbai.

Episode 9- “Nadine Levy Redzepi”

4 acres of farmland
1 wholesome roast chicken
A job at the world’s best restaurant
Add one super secret love story
Some “seal the deal” pasta
Trail attempts to make a dosa
And 1 book of family recipes

This week on NoSugarCoat, Pooja calls up cookbook author and home cook Nadine Redzepi in Denmark. They talk about her relationship with food, her work at Noma and her brand new book, Downtime: Deliciousness at Home.

Episode 9- “Rashmi Uday Singh”

Take some Income Tax Raids
Stir in a newspaper column for 20 years
Add 1 answering machine
Sprinkle some blind dates
Pepper in 39 books
Serve with barbeque chaas on the side

On the season finale of NoSugarCoat, Pooja chats to India’s most popular food critic, Rashmi Uday Singh. She talks about how she moved from writing quasi-judicial orders to writing about food, creating the first restaurant guide in India and how to use Instagram correctly.