The chef will showcase his skills in an episode of Food Network’s Chopped on Tuesday, August 15, during which he’ll have 20 minutes to create a dish to submit before judges.
Bindra says the reality TV cooking competition’s casting crew reached out via Instagram last year to see if he was interested in participating in the show. Following an interview, he was selected to compete on the show in November. “It’s been hard (to keep it a secret),” he says. “I don’t want to reveal anything.” What he can say, though, is that he will be the only chef from the Houston area in this episode and that he does not disappoint.
“I just brought my talent,” Bindra says. “The ingredients they gave me were exciting. I cannot say what happened until the show is revealed, but I can say it was a great experience. … I did justice to my cuisine.”
The Kanpur, India native, who previously worked in Washington, DC, at the ritzy, Michelin-recognized Punjab Grill, has made waves since his 2022 arrival in the Houston area. Bindra currently serves as the executive chef of Amrina, a luxe Indian fusion establishment that Eater Houston named Best Restaurant of the Year in 2022. Known for taking diners on a journey through the eyes of a fictional Indian princess, Amrina showcases the breadth of Indian cuisine, with a swanky tapas bar that serves Indian street food and a plush dining room that offers the gamut of Indian “holy moly” bread, comforting fusions like tandoori mac and cheese, and extravagant entrees like its pan-seared mushrooms with truffle, whole-roasted Queens Duck, and red wine-braised lamb shank. Though Bindra has long experimented with Indian cuisine, Houston, he says, has helped expand his expertise.
“I think I’ve changed a lot of my cooking techniques now. Texas is all about its beef and steak,” Bindra says, which has been something that he’s tried to incorporate into his cooking. “I’ve created Indian spice rubs for the steaks and different butters for basting, new sauces,” he says. “People are really loving it.”
The chef, who has traveled across the country, sampling different cuisines, has also found ways to showcase various chefs. In May, he launched a chef’s series, rotating in chefs from around the country and local Texas chefs for a night of collaboration. Since the launch, he’s collaborated with Alex Au-Yeung from Katy’s Phat Eatery and New York chef Bao Bao. In September, he’ll team up with David Skinner, the Choctaw chef behind the Thai and Indigenous tasting menu restaurant, Th Prsrv, and eculent, a Kemah tasting menu restaurant that is one of the most decadent displays of molecular gastronomy in the country.
“This was always my dream,” Bindra says.