Nepalese-born chef Gita Kantrow—namesake of the new Gita at Wink & Nod—was raised in two culinary traditions. “I grew up in the Terai, a tropical area south of Kathmandu, closer to India than the city,” she says. “I came to the U.S. in 1997 when I was 9. My dad was a trekking guide, and my adoptive mom had been to Nepal many times and connected with him to go on hiking trips. My biological parents always had the dream that one of their girls would come to the U.S. and have an American education.”
Living in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Kantrow began customizing her adoptive mother’s cooking to please her own palate, using ingredients and techniques she’d learned as a child. Her fascination with the kitchen continued through college and jobs at an Oregon design firm and an online medical startup in Boston. She opened a small catering company and began private cheffing. In August, she launched her six-month pop-up at Wink & Nod.
“My cooking is very personal,” Kantrow says. “I work with Nepalese spices like cumin, turmeric and garam masala and herbs like thyme, rosemary and parsley. It’s food that reminds me of home but also what I’ve known most of my adult life in the U.S.”
Gita at Wink & Nod, 3 Appleton St., Boston (617-482-0117) winkandnod.com