Coming to the TableFood In 2 WorldsIndianLatinoMexican

Zarela Martinez and Kavitha Rathi: Redefining Regional Cuisine

Zarela Martinez photo by Meral Agish

Zarela Martinez – Photo by Meral Agish

What happens when you bring together women food entrepreneurs from different generations and different ethnic backgrounds to talk about food, business, and flavor?

Feet in 2 Worlds wanted to find out, so we paired five veteran New York City restaurateurs and food sellers with their younger counterparts, who sell edible goods at street fairs and online. None of these women had ever met before Fi2W brought them together. But as you’ll hear, they connected in special ways. We think there is a good chance they will meet again somewhere in the five boroughs, probably over a delicious food made with love and served with mutual respect and admiration.

Here’s the first conversation between Zarela Martinez and Kavitha Rathi.

An originator of Mexican fine dining in New York, Zarela Martinez, 67, retired from the restaurant business but continues to work as a cookbook author and consultant. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s a decade ago, Martinez also plans to launch a speaking series about living with the disease.

Kavitha Rathi’s Potpuri food stand will be back at Smorgasburg in September, offering Indian street food with a twist. Now Rathi, 38, is looking for innovative ways to grow her business.

Listen to part 2 in this series Mei Chau and Ah La Ko-Oh: The Accidental Chefs

Audio produced by Meral Agish.

Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.

AboutAnne Noyes Saini
Anne Noyes Saini, Food Editor, produces WNYC's The Sporkful food podcast and is co-creator of the MOTHER podcast. She covers food culture, immigration, women, and the elderly in New York City — especially in Queens, where she lives. She has contributed to NPR The Salt, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Narratively, Serious Eats, VICE, Feet in 2 Worlds, Real Cheap Eats and City Limits magazine.