WAUKESHA – Cookbook author, blogger and healthy eating advocate, Alamelu Vairavan will speak on “The Healing Power of Spices” Wednesday, April 20, at noon in the Commons Room 101 at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, 1500 N. University Drive, Waukesha.
Sponsored by the Lectures & Fine Arts Committee as part of its Visions & Expressions series, the program is open to the public at no charge, and there is free parking in university lots during the event.
Raised in a well-to-do family in India, meals simply were served during Vairavan’s childhood. After she married Dr. K. Vairavan and came to the U.S., she stayed for some time with her aunt in New York., learning South Indian cooking techniques from a well-known Chettinad chef, Nedungudi Natesan,. She quickly developed a joy of cooking.
She experiments in her kitchen and has written several cookbooks, including Art of South Indian Cooking (1997), Healthy South Indian Cooking (Hippocrene Books Inc., N.Y., 2001, 2003, 2007 and an expanded edition in 2008) and, most recently, Chettinad Kitchen: Food and Flavours from South India (Westland-Tata, India, 2011).
In addition, she contributed to Healing Spices (Sterling Publishing, New York, 2011), written by Bharat Aggarwal, a professor of cancer research, biochemistry, immunology and experimental therapeutics and director of the Cytokine Research Laboratory at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She has also contributed several recipes to the American Dietetic Association cookbook, Cooking Healthy Across America (John Wiley, N.Y., 2004).
Excited to show how foods can both be delicious and restorative, the culinary instructor has been featured on numerous national and regional TV shows including appearances on PBS, Discovery Channel, Fox and CBS programs. In addition, she hosted her own cooking show, Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu, on public television first aired in Wisconsin in 2010 and later aired around the country.
She has been a guest on radio shows in several states and cited in newspapers and magazines, including USA Today, the Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Enquirer, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Today’s Wisconsin Woman and India Today.
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