Raleigh, N.C. — Maneet Chauhan is a talker.
Within a few seconds of meeting the Food Network star, the conversation goes from missing her nearly 2 year old daughter (who isn't on tour with her) to what it is like filming her upcoming reality documentary series.
Chauhan is in the midst of a 21-city tour to promote her cookbook, Flavors of My World: A Culinary Tour Through 25 Countries. This isn't a typical book tour though.
Chauhan and co-author, Doug Singer, decided to turn each stop into a chance to take in each city's culinary culture, highlighting the "small jewels" there with a collaborative dinner. For the meal, the main entree will come from Chauhan's cookbook and the appetizer and desserts will be signatures of the host restaurant.
In Raleigh, Chauhan selected Laotian restaurant Bida Manda for her one-night only dinner. On Sunday, fans crowded Bida Manda to enjoy the three course meal and chat it up with Chauhan. Food Network chef visits Bida Manda
The restaurant's decor and inventive menu grabbed her attention when they were scouting places to go in Raleigh. When she arrived there, Chauhan was taken aback by the simple, rustic beauty at the downtown Raleigh restaurant.
Chauhan was also excited about getting a to-go box of the meal. She spent the entire time talking to patrons. We hope she got to taste the food because it was pretty amazing.
Here's a rundown of the menu:
- Cocktail: White wine spritzer with fresh cucumber
- Appetizer: Crispy rice lettuce wraps with pork - Very good, with our without pork.
- Entree: Chauhan's Paneer tadka pad Thai (recipe found in her cookbook) - absolutely awesome! Just don't eat the chili garnish by mistake.
- Dessert: Purple Rice and Brown Sugar Custard served with warm coconut cream and fresh mango. - The purple rice is a delightful, almost rice pudding consistency. A good, light dessert.
Each diner received a copy of Chauhan's cookbook, which contains her favorite food and drink recipes for 25 countries.
Dubbed the "Cutting Edge" tour, Chauhan is also hosting a culinary student competition and book signing in each city. The entire time, a small reality/documentary crew follows her around filming each moment.
The show, which has found a home network that will be announced next month, will feature her tour, along with the culture of each city. Following the tour, Chauhan said the show will focus on her opening a gastropub in Nashville and taking short tours to nearby cities.
Chauhan's personality seems like a great fit for a documentary/reality show. She is personable, smart and up for the challenge of traveling city to city. She said she is really enjoying visiting the local restaurant at each tour stop.