With her distinct laugh, sparkling presence and erudite elocution, Aarti Sequeira is a sought-after television host, cookbook author, influencer, commentator, and judge. A mainstay on Food Network after winning Season 6 of Food Network Star, Sequeira is also known as “The Spice Queen” due to her comprehensive knowledge of spices.
In addition to hosting her own cooking show, Aarti Party, she also serves as judge on hit shows like Holiday Wars, Halloween Wars, Candy Land (hosted by Kristen Chenoweth), Luda Can’t Cook (featuring Ludacris), Guy’s Grocery Games, Supermarket Stakeout, and Christmas Cookie Challenge. She’s cooked in competition and emerged victorious on Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Guy’s Grocery Games. Additionally, she cooks alongside the country’s best chefs on Guy’s Ranch Kitchen. Off-network appearances include teaching Selena Gomez how to cook on Selena + Chef (HBO Max) and voicing Chef Shobha in Disney Jr.’s Mira, Royal Detective.
A gifted writer, Sequeira published her first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen With an Indian Soul in 2014 (Grand Central). She has also penned a nationally syndicated column for the Associated Press entitled “World’s Fare,” teaching readers how to use ingredients from the international aisle in simple, weeknight dishes, and most recently for Dayspring’s Incourage, blending faith and food into inspirational essays.
Born in India, raised in Dubai, and educated in a British school, Sequeira grew up amid a varied tapestry of food cultures. After graduating from Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, she began a career at CNN, covering everything from economic reports to the plight of firefighters after 9/11. She produced documentaries for television, including Sand and Sorrow (HBO), about the genocide in Darfur, narrated by George Clooney and directed by Peabody Award winner Paul Freedman. After the success of her YouTube cooking/variety show, she soon made her way to Food Network.
Sequeira is an ardent advocate for women battling postpartum depression (having experienced it herself following the births of each of her two daughters). A passionate Christian, she also speaks to women of faith about overcoming fear and the sacred nature of breaking bread. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, actor Brendan McNamara, and daughters, Eliyah and Moses.