Cheetie Kumar

Garland, Neptune's Parlour & Kings | Raleigh, NC

Growing up in India until the age of 8, Cheetie spent time in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother, learning the basics of Indian cooking. After the family immigrated to the Bronx, she was immersed in a world of many ethnicities, traditions and flavors. In North Carolina, she’s embraced her new home and its long-standing tradition of readily available home-grown produce, as well as its variety of international grocery stores. Her food may seem “foreign,” but it’s an interpretation of local ingredients made through the eyes of someone who grew up in India, New York City and the South.

Cheetie is a self-taught cook: She learned the craft while playing guitar in The Cherry Valence and more recently in Birds of Avalon, alongside her husband and business partner, Paul Siler. Life on tour and as the co-owner of music venue Kings (and its adjoining cocktail bar, Neptunes Parlour) taught her the value of the independent, artistic spirit that is the backbone of the emerging downtown Raleigh community.

Cheetie was featured in The New York Times in October 2018 and was a semifinalist for James Beard’s Best Chef: Southeast in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Follow Garland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cheetie is participating in the East Meets West dinner on Wednesday, October 16.