Anita Trehan created Chaiwali out of her passion for food, design and wellness. Part New Delhi, part New York, she grew up experiencing a rich tradition of home cooking. Food at home and on the street united rich and poor, just by being tasty. Upon moving to New York, she discovered tastes from all over the world – a global food bazaar! – and she taught herself to cook.
After a career in hospitality and philanthropy, Anita finally decided to create Chaiwali, to combine flavors she grew up with, with new ones she discovered in New York. She wanted to address health through food, but in ways that incorporated wellness without being trendy. When her daughter developed severe food allergies, Anita discovered new ways to cook and to heal, thereby creating a Chaiwali menu that caters to all.
Chai is comfort and camaraderie and the combination of Real Chai and Real food is the synthesis of a new tea culture. With “Chaiwali”, Anita has chosen this playful riff on the traditional “Chaiwala” – a male seller of tea, to symbolize the woman being the nurturer of the home. She wanted her everyday food to be romantic and sensory, served in well-designed spaces that reflect community and neighborhood. It is a coming together of many worlds, and a new tribe.