Events & Activities
Varli Culinary Awards 2012

The first Varli Culinary Awards will be held on November 15, 2012 in New York City! A panel of international culinary organizations, food experts, and the public will recognize 2012's top Indian restaurants, chefs, and culinary personalities from across the globe.

Indian chefs & restaurateurs - let's take our share of the limelight from the global culinary scene!

Ticket price: $100 per person

Attendees of the Varli Culinary Awards will have the opportunity to sample delicious cuisine from 10 of the area’s finest Indian restaurants. Additionally, there will be Indian wine, handmade desserts and a host of vendors presenting a wide array of delights to satisfy your love of Indian fare.

Sanjeev Host

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, one of the most celebrated Indian chefs in the world and star of the hit TV show Khana Khazana, will be hosting the Varli Culinary Awards, making this an even more amazing event!

Manu Co Host

Manu Narayan is no stranger to being in front of the camera. He has starred in Hollywood hits like the Love Guru and A Cinderally Story: Once Upon a Song. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for us as co-host of the Varli Culinary Awards!

Pooja Kumar Co Host

Pooja Kumar already has a Miss India USA crown and a Screen Actors Guild Award under her belt, with an even brighter future as the star in Kamal Hassan's newest film, Vishwaroopam. But, as we all know, her most important role of the year will be co-hosting the Varli Culinary Awards!

Red Carpet

In the VARLI world, chefs and restaurants are the celebrities and superstars, so prestige will be bestowed upon them through a red carpet event during the festival.

Cooking Demos

All attendees will witness a live demonstration as internationally-acclaimed chef, Sabyaschi Gorai, and runner-up in the MasterChef India Season 2 competition, Shazia Khan, prepare a delicious cuisine for all.

Celebrity Chef cookbook

Each VIP guest will receive their own copies of the latest cookbooks from our celebrity chefs! These cookbooks span the spectrum from novice to advanced, and from traditional to fusion, but one thing's for sure: they eliminate our excuses for ordering in!

Live competition Rising Star Chef

NYC's Junoon will be hosting the live competition for the Varli Culinary Awards' "Rising Star Chef" category! On Sept 8th the best chefs under 35 will face off at Junoon in an unprecedented cookoff as judges determine 2012's winner. We can't wait to taste their innovative creations!

Live competition Dessert

For the category “Best Dessert & Pastry 2012”, a live competition will be held at Mithaas restaurant in Edison, NJ on August 27th, 2012. The best of the best Indian dessert and pastry chefs will pass out samples of their creation to an expert panel of judges as well as select VIP invitees for tasting and voting. This sweet competition is the perfect showcase for culinary talent, and the final winner will be announced at the Varli Culinary Awards.

Varli Recipe Contest

The Varli Recipe Contest is open to the public and a great chance for aspiring chefs, homemakers, amateur cooks, or anyone who has a signature dish to get recognized! The recipe contest will be an exciting, ongoing component of many Varli events but will be focused on different themes each time.

To participate in the Varli “Indian Star Basmati” Recipe Contest, submit your favorite recipe for a Basmati rice-based dish. Recipes will be reviewed by a panel of highly regarded judges and the top 3 will be invited to participate in a live cook-off to determine the winner. This is your chance to show off amazing creativity and cooking skills!
  Varli Gift Hamper

Want a little more sizzle? You got it! All attendees will be receiving the Varli Gift Hamper worth $250! It will have restaurant gift certificates, special treats from Maya Foods, Alokozay tea and much, much more!

VIP Guests

VIP ticket holders receive premium seating, special cocktail hour, gift hamper $300 value and a celebrity chef cookbook

Sanjeev Food tasting

Culinary moghul, Sanjeev Kapoor, will be tasting creations from the seven best restaurants and picking a winner based on the criteria of Best Taste, Best Presentation, and Creativity. Good luck to the contestants in winning over his discerning palate!

Celebrating Varli by Mithaas

Calling all sweet-tooths: Restaurateur, Kamal Arora, will be showcasing his masterpiece, Mithaas Restaurant, by offering a sampling of 35 of his most innovative, mouth-watering desserts to all attendees! Mithaas is the first restaurant to transform traditional Indian fast food into a modern-day casual dining experience. We are excited to see what Kamal has in store for us!

Silent Auction

Awards guests will have the opportunity to bid on exciting items such as a private restaurant dinner for two, a cooking lesson from a highly experienced Indian Chef, an exclusive invitation to a wine tasting event, etc. The best part is that all proceeds will be going to Magic Bus charity!

Celebrating Varli by Thali

Come taste the latest concoction from Chef Prasad Chirnomula of Thali: the VarliTini! No one knows the secret ingredient, but we’re sure the former Chopped contestant will have us asking for another!

Varli Cook Off Runner Up

Varli Cook Off runner up and CEO of Indyaone, Niru Kumria will be hosting a special Food Tasting for Varli Culinary Awards' attendees! Niru's passion for travel has led her to create culturally-diverse meals that redefine what a good home-cooked meal really means. What a treat for event attendees!

Shilpa's Shrikandh

We are pleased to highlight a brand new dessert for you to sample. We look forward to your feedback on this brand new treat to hit the market!

Panel of Judges

Judges for these awards include highly regarded figures in the culinary industry, ranging from celebrity chefs to published authors to successful restaurateurs. All judges have achieved significant success in the culinary industry and / or are widely recognized for their achievements and expertise.


The selection process for the nominees in each category began on February 15th, 2012. Restaurants are selected on the basis of cuisine, ambiance, and concept. Chefs and personalities are selected on the basis of skill, outreach, achievements and public support.

Congratulations to all the award nominees!

Vote for the People's Choice Award

Get involved and make your voice heard!

“The Best Indian Restaurant 2012” is a People’s Choice Award that allows you to vote for the best Indian restaurant in each state. In this category, there is no official judges’ panel and the winner will be determined by majority public vote.

So tell us who your favorite is and help them rise to the top!
Varli Culinary Awards 2012 will make every effort to keep the program as per the above description but does not hold any responsibility due to any last minute changes due to unforeseen circumstances.