University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Summer 2009

Preena Chauhan

"I can always do more for others"

Fave U of T moment Thursday nights at the Blind Duck Pub, the old portable classroom by the woods, were legendary. If only I could keep up like back then!

Photo by Daniel Ehrenworth
Preena Chauhan (BA 2001 UTM)

Since graduation In 2005, I co-founded Feeding Your Mind, a food discussion series to encourage sustainable ways of eating. That same year, I launched Arvinda’s, a retail line of cooking ingredients for Indian cuisine. I am a food adviser to the Oakville Sustainable Food Partnership and last year was named a “local food hero” by the Toronto Food Policy Council.

A meaningful event Since 1996, my mother and I have cooked for “Eat to the Beat,” a fundraising event for the national support group Willow Breast Cancer. Recently a dear family friend was taken by cancer, which underscored for me the importance of resources such as Willow.

Why volunteer? While I was travelling in India, strangers – who by their appearance had very little to give – went out of their way to be hospitable and caring toward me. It was a reminder that I can always do more for others.

Your dream? To find more ways to contribute locally and globally through Arvinda’s as a social enterprise, and to travel more. I also want to inspire others to learn about Indian cooking, which I’m absolutely passionate about!

Are you doing now what you thought you’d be doing when you attended U of T? Not at all. Years ago, my brother and I only dreamt of bringing our family spice blends to market. We talked about it, but I never thought we’d come this far.

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