Namaste, my name is Babita Shrestha. I am a plant-based chef, photographer, graphic designer and a filmmaker. 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, due to the civil war in Nepal and 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 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. During this endeavor, I was fortunate enough to cook for all kinds of foodies in my area including catering for Miss Linda Gorton, the mayor of Lexington, KY as well as become a private chef at dinner parties for Lucy Vanmeter, the Circuit Court Judge of Lexington. 

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.

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 while putting finishing touches to my first cookbook “Plant-based Himalaya”.

2020 and 2021 were very challenging because of moving to Nepal and the global pandemic but I have found my home in Pokhara. This is the magical and mystical place where I have found peace of mind and my true heart. My soul is always happy here.

I completed writing my first cookbook “Plant-based Himalaya” in 2021. It is coming out in US and Nepal on September 6th, 2022 and I am really excited about it.

Currently, I am working on completing my first documentary project “Baadal Danda”, my journey to Mardi Himal. Currently, I am enjoying my life near Annapurna Mountain with my dear husband Charles.