Aarti Sequeira, with her distinct laugh, sparkling presence and erudite elocution, is a mainstay on Food Network after winning season six of Food Network Star. Due to her comprehensive knowledge of spices, she has been dubbed “Spice Queen” and has become a sought-after television host, cookbook author, influencer, commentator, and judge.
In addition to hosting her own 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 & “GGG.” She cooks alongside the country’s best chefs on Guy’s Ranch Kitchen. Off-network appearances include teaching Ms Gomez how to cook on “Selena + Chef” (HBO Max) and voicing Chef Shobha in Disney Jr.’s “Mira, Royal Detective.” A gifted writer, Aarti published her first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul in 2014 (Grand Central). She also has written 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 for Incourage, blending faith and food into inspirational essays.
Born in India, raised in Dubai, and educated in a British school, Aarti grew up amidst 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.
Aarti 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, NC with her husband, actor Brendan McNamara and daughters Eliyah and Moses.