My name is Babita Shrestha. I am a plant-based chef, photographer and a designer. My cooking journey started nearly 25 years ago in my grandfather’s kitchen in Kalaiya, Bara. I moved to Kathmandu, at the age of 12 where I was traditionally trained to cook by my mother. As the oldest child of the family, it was my responsibility to cook and it quickly grew into a true passion of mine.
When I was older, my love of filmmaking brought me to study film studies in the United States over a decade ago. There I discovered Graphic Design during my first year in college and decided to continue with it. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree while minoring in photojournalism at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. During this time I got an opportunity to be exposed to many cultures and food from around the world.
In 2016, I decided to live a vegan lifestyle as much as possible. After that I became even more passionate about cooking delicious and healthy plant-based meals for myself & my friends. I let my creativity blossom, curating my own unique vegan recipes for dinner parties. This led me to educate and promote fresh nutritious dishes with classes, pop-up street food vending, selling my products to other restaurants, private cheffing, and catering.
I decided to take time off from public events in 2019 to focus on my passion project that would later be titled “Plant-Based Himalaya”. It was a complete joy to create. Every recipe, photo, illustration, and even layout are of my own fabrication.
At that time I had not returned to Nepal for over a decade due to national tragedies such as civil war and devastating earthquakes. After getting married, my husband and I decided to move to Nepal in 2020 to reconnect with my cultural roots and continue living a sustainable life.
My journey of life has taken me from a small village of Terai region in Nepal to Ancient Metropolitan Temple City of Kathmandu. Then, as a domestic helper in Hong Kong and a Fine Arts student in Minnesota. Later, as an entrepreneur I started Vegan Nepal in Lexington, Kentucky in 2017. After I got married my husband and I moved to Nepal to finish my first cookbook and enjoy life near Annapurna Mountain.