Celebrity chef spicing up St. Augustine Food and Wine Festival - WJXT News4JAX

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The inaugural St. Augustine Food and Wine Festival will showcase culinary, beverage and culture in the Nation’s Oldest City this weekend.

The event will host celebrity chefs such as Maneet Chauhan as well as winemakers, local chefs, artisans and have plenty of local craft spirits/beers.

“The most important part about food is not forgetting where you’ve come from and celebrating where you have arrived at,” Chauhan said. “And I think that is what the cuisine of St. Augustine is -- it is so deeply entrenched in, in history. It’s got, you know, the global influences to it, and that’s exactly how I cook.”

Chauhan is an Indian American chef and television personality who has been an executive chef of several notable restaurants in major cities and has been featured as a judge on the Food Network’s series, Chopped.

Chauhan’s creative take on Indian food put her on a global stage, a platform she’s now using to help India deal with the deadly COVID crisis.

“I mean what’s happening in India right now is devastating. It is. It just breaks all of our hearts,” she said. “I’ve grown up in India, I’ve spent half my life in India. I have family over there. I have friends over there. So, this is very, very close to home.”

Chauhan was teaming up with celebrity chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen to help using funds she helped raise in the U.S. to help health care heroes in India.

“Providing meals to frontline workers in hospital in Delhi and about and Mumbai, and I have been in touch with my friends who are doctors trying to get contacts, trying to do what we can,” Chauhan said.