Thomas Zacharias | Chef & Founder
Thomas is a chef with nearly 15 years of professional cooking experience, and arguably a lot more if you count the early start he got in his grandmother’s kitchen in Kerala. The first phase of his career was centered around European cuisine, starting out as a line cook at Le Bernardin, New York City’s famed three Michelin star eatery in 2009. But in 2014, a culinary expedition across India made him rethink his entire approach to food. He went on to helm the kitchen at The Bombay Canteen as Chef Partner, finding inventive ways to showcase indigenous ingredients through contemporary regional Indian cuisine. In 2022, Thomas decided to bring together some of his passions—storytelling, working with local produce, and nurturing connections between people within the Indian food system—and founded The Locavore to do good through what he knows best: food. Apart from chasing culinary adventures, Thomas also moonlights as a karaoke singer, and tends to his sprawling collection of house plants in his urban jungle of an apartment.
Yamini Vijayan | Editor-in-Chief
Yamini is a writer and editor based in Bangalore. In the past, she has worked with The Deccan Herald, Pratham Books, and spent years in between helping set up children’s libraries across the country, and promoting reading for pleasure. She is the author of children’s books Stage Fright and Your Body is Yours. In her free time, she likes to escape to green spaces, take photographs, and watch crime shows. While Yamini is an extraordinarily mediocre cook, there’s very little that excites her more than storytelling.
Oishika Roy | Assistant Editor
Having always loved eating and practices around eating, Oishika first developed an interest in the social and cultural life of food during her degree in Sociology and Anthropology. Her prior experience in academic and policy research has contributed to her knowledge on how public systems function, and how best to study them. Now aspiring to be a food anthropologist, she hopes to work on contributing to a food system that is sustainable, cognizant of diversity, and begets tasty food.
Chetana Divya | Copy Editor & Writer
Chetana is a writer and editor who has a more than healthy appetite for food and fiction. Her current comfort genres are detective fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, and all manner of books for children and young adults. She enjoys brewing tea and coffee as much as she enjoys sipping on cuppas. She was recently adopted by two canines, and is studying psychology after a decade’s hiatus. She’s thrilled to find herslef in such crazy—in the awesomest way—company.
Zainab Kapadia | Head of Marketing & Media
Based in Mumbai, Zainab has over ten years of integrated marketing communications experience. From startups to established companies, she has been an integral part of building brands, helping them grow exponentially, shaping their narratives, and telling their stories; because what is anything if it doesn’t have a story! To recalibrate her own story, she decided to shift her focus to two of her passions in life: food and travel. Being conscious and concerned about the issues within our food system, channeling her experience to push for positive change through The Locavore was a no-brainer to help shape the next chapter of her story.
Ashish Sharma | Digital Media Lead
Ashish is a writer and digital marketer from Kolkata. His love for food, travel, and the culinary craft led him to hospitality school a few years ago. Since then, he has helmed marketing positions in spaces ranging from EdTech, an experiential travel startup, to a bookstore & café. Being at The Locavore is a means for him to align and pursue some of his dearest passions: food, storytelling, conscious living, and creating meaningful change through synergetic, purpose oriented communities. He runs an Instagram blog called Breaking Down Music which champions independent artists, and he also swears by going for long walks–there is barely anything they cannot fix.
Takshama Pandit | Head of Projects & Partnerships
Takshama’s interests, beyond eating good food, converge at the intersection of food systems, policy, and strategy. Previously, she worked at Mumbai’s coveted restaurants including The Bombay Canteen, The Table, and Magazine Street Kitchen. Her love for the Indian food system stems from her time at The Bombay Canteen, and her interactions with India’s farming community whose labour of love resonated on the plates that they served. With a degree in Psychology, she further pursued Public Policy to understand how India’s political system impacts what and how we eat at a platform known as Food is Political. Her explorations in the impact space also included projects such as Seaweed Saturdays, and working for Edible Issues. She hopes to continue understanding the Indian food system’s complexities, and aims to bring together individuals with a shared vision to create impact.
Shreshtha Chhabra | Producer Partnerships Lead
Shreshtha is a researcher and writer with an inclination towards the food-art-community nexus. Her academic research on food and gendered associations, which aimed to trace the implicit divisions in the practice of food and cooking in the Indian setting, has undergone international publication. As a culinary chronicler, she has worked with Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal and been a part of the editorial team of the Godrej Food Trends Report 2022. She aims to learn about food from the intricate perspectives of policy, societal impact, and collective sustenance.
Sreyasi Mukherjee | Projects Lead
Sreyasi is a social anthropologist with a background in Geography and Political Science. She specialises in documenting the everyday of ordinary people living in marginalized geographies. As a decolonial feminist, her work at The Locavore is an exercise in participatory praxis through which she aims to amplify ways of mindful, sustainable living practised by indigenous communities across South Asia. Her favourite idea of fieldwork is through long conversations, best done over a shared meal.
Gayatri Vijayan & Karthik Srinivasan | Design
Gayatri and Karthik run Oddity—a collaborative design practice that focuses on meaningful transformation through experience design. Based in Bangalore, the studio creates impactful design through brand stories and spatial narratives. Their projects include designing spaces for offices and homes, learning environments for children and creating design narratives for brands and organisations across sectors. They are also the founders of Gosh, a children’s furniture company. In their free time, you will find them in their music room.