India Night Speakers
Aarti Sequeira’s appetite began in the womb, and shows no sign of abating! The cookbook author and host of Food Network’s Aarti Party, Sequeira competed on and won Season 6 of Food Network Star with her trademark food signature: American favorites with an Indian soul. Her show grew out of the popular blog and YouTube cooking-variety show, Aarti Paarti, a joint venture with her husband, actor-writer Brendan McNamara, that started in their tiny Los Angeles home kitchen.
Food Network then became her broadcast home, where she went on host Taste in Translation, Drop 5lbs with Good Housekeeping and Hidden Eats. She also competed on – and won – Chopped All Stars and Cutthroat Kitchen. She is a frequent judge on Guy’s Grocery Games and From Duff Til Dawn, and has contributed to Guilty Pleasures, Best Thing I Ever Ate, Best Thing I Ever Made, Unique Eats and Unique Sweets.
Off-network, she has been a colorful, memorable guest on Today Show, The Talk, Dr Oz, The Nate Berkus Show and Home and Family on Hallmark Channel.
Born in India, brought up in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE) and educated in a British school, Sequeira grew up against a varied tapestry of food cultures, from her mother’s fish curry with green mangoes, to the homemade pastas of her Italian best friend, to the Arabian spit-roasted shawarmas her family would enjoy every Friday. It was during the first Gulf War that Sequeira decided to pursue a career in journalism, eventually earning her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism.
She went on to work for CNN straight out of school, covering everything from economic reports to the plight of firefighters after 9/11. She also produced Sand and Sorrow, the HBO documentary about the genocide in Darfur, narrated by George Clooney and directed by Peabody Award-winner, Paul Freedman. But she began to feel like something was still missing; her husband gave her a gift certificate to a local cooking program, and it was there that her passion for cooking sparked into a great roaring fire.
After working in the kitchen at Chef Suzanne Goin’s Lucques (Top 3 Restaurant in LA – LA Weekly AND LA Times), she took to blogging about the food she was creating in her own kitchen, which led to the YouTube show, which led to Food Network, which led to the publishing of her very first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul by Grand Central in 2014, a top 10 Indian cookbook on Amazon. The writing of that book coincided with her first successful pregnancy.
After suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of her oldest daughter, Eliyah, Aarti became an ardent advocate for women suffering from post-natal mood disorders. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her two daughters, Eliyah and Moses, who promise to have an equally large appetite for food and life.
Infused Performing Arts
Infused Performing Arts will present a bold and beautiful kaleidoscope of dances from Bollywood’s most popular movies, lighting up the stage with a brilliant perspective of the improbable, the implausible, and the irresistible world of Bollywood.
The troupe has performed and entertained thousands of audiences since its inception in 2009. Founders and choreographers Tina Bose-Kumar & Kiron Kumar started Infused Performing Arts out of their love and dedication to the arts and promoting the rich Indian culture to students and audiences around the country. The group, which is the only dance company in the world to infuse magic and Bollywood dance, has been selected to perform every year during the NBA Halftime Show since 2012.