Rajat Parr was born in Kolkata in 1972 and didn't leave until he was 22, which explains why Indian flavors are such a big part of his cooking. This salad, for instance, is a twist on the classic Indian street food called chana chaat.
"In 1994, when I enrolled at the Culinary Institute oh America in Hyde Park, I had to catch up on so much—it was like I had a virgin palate for food and wine," says Rajat Parr. "For instance, I'd never had a scallop before; I didn't even know what they were. I had never seen a chestnut before, either. So cooking school was an eye-opening experience."Plus: F&W's Fish and Seafood Cooking Guide More Seafood Recipes
"It took me a while to figure out how to make these fritters," says Rajat Parr. "My mom never gave me the exact recipe." He creates the delicate hors d'oeuvres by combining paneer (fresh Indian cheese), diced bell pepper, garlic, and ginger, then rolling the patties in Japanese panko bread crumbs and frying them.