“A family that ‘cooks’ together, stays together” is the mantra that pushed Chef Shagun Mehra to pursue a career in food. India Food Network spoke to the talented chef and wine connoisseur about her food philosophy, inspiration and how travel has changed her perspective towards food in this interview.Do you have any fond food memory from your childhood?I remember in the summer we used to churn our own fresh Alphonso ice-cream. Each member in the family would take turns in churning the ice-cream. This was the traditional way of churning cream and mangoes into ice-cream. I am salivating at the thought of it!When was the first time you realized you want to pursue a career in food?When I was about 15, the chef at our family hotel had just completed his culinary training in Italy. Once back, he started teaching me some of the most traditional Italian recipes. This got me very excited and I wanted to study culinary arts and explore the world of gastronomy.How did the culinary school help you hone your skills as a chef?It gave me the technical know-how and insight on various cooking methods. It formed the base for me to understand different types of chopping techniques and also creating complex dishes. This enabled me to explore the culinary world and build on it using the academic and technical base that the school offered me.What is your food philosophy?I believe in the richness of local produce and traditional recipes and cooking techniques. I think India is a diverse and expansive nation and there is so much to discover in each state and within each state, there are nuances of different cuisine styles.IBT does not endorse any of the above content.