Chef Raghavan Iyer is an artist with knives and spices.  He was born in Mumbai, India and earned degrees in Chemestry from the Bombay University and Hotel and Restaurant Management from Michigan State University.  He is the author of several well regarded cookbooks on Indian cuisine: Betty Crocker’s Indian Home Cooking, The Tumeric Trail:  Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood, and 660 Curries.  For Tumeric Trail, he was a James Beard award finalist.  He is the Consulting Executive Chef for Om, an upscale and fabulous Indian restaurant in Minneapolis.  He has worked with the likes of Target and General Mills developing lines of Indian Foods. I have met Raghavan twice now.  Once when he was the featured chef at the Minnesota International Center Gala.  When the event was over we ended up sitting next to each other on a bus taking us back to our cars and we got a chance to chat.  Fascinating guy - I immediately ran out and got his 660 Curies book.  The other time was a dinner/cooking class he put on at my Ron & Teresa Sit’s house.  We spent an evening having him teach us about the spices and preparation of several South Indian (and spicy!) dishes and then ate with him.  My fingers tips are still tingling the morning after (as I type this) from all the chilies I minced!  The food was, for his direction not so much our culinary skills, a wonderful meal. This shot is of Raghavan directing our efforts in Teresa & Ron’s kitchen in the early evening summer sun of Minnesota.