Reunion: Sheil Shukla
Sheil Shukla is a board certified internal medicine physician with Northwestern Medicine in Illinois. He is the creator behind @plantbasedartist on Instagram and the author of the vegan cookbook Plant-Based India (published August 2022) which was named one of The New York Times best cookbooks of 2022 and nominated for a James Beard Award.
What's your favorite dish that evokes nostalgia?
For me it's undhiyu, a hearty vegetable dish from Gujarat, India. It is a labor of love composed of numerous vegetables including potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, eggplant, and more, all tied together by an intensely aromatic blend of coconut and several herbs and spices. Whenever I eat this dish, I'm transported back to traveling in India and spending time with family.
What's your go to place or restaurant for reunion meals?
Lately my favorite place for group meals has been our home! My wife and I have done a lot of hosting over the past year, and it brings us so much joy to bring our friends and family together to enjoy a home-cooked meal.
What's your favorite food city or cities? What are some restaurants there that taste like home?
My favorite food city is Chicago since it's most familiar to me, but I've enjoyed many I've traveled to over the past couple years, including Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Some of my favorite AAPI restaurants in Chicago include Rooh, Indienne, Urban Vegan,Alice and Friends, and Gumrai Thai (which is in Chicagoland). I also love MintyZ in Miami, and Besharam and Shizen in San Francisco.
What do you do for inspiration?
Explore new restaurants in my home city of Chicago and traveling to many other incredible food cities across the globe!
What's something you're obsessed with right now?
I'm obsessed with handmade pottery. My favorites include East Fork Pottery, Monsoon Pottery, Golden Ratio Clay Works, DTK Ceramics, and This Quiet Dust Ceramics. Another obsession is single origin spices from Burlap and Barrel and Diaspora Co.
Follow Sheil Shukla on Instagram.