Cheetie Kumar

Years of Participation

As a child in India, Cheetie could often be found in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother learning as they prepared daily meals. Her family held strongly to their culinary heritage, thoughtfully passing on generations old technique and preparation. At the age of 8 her family settled in the Bronx, NY. Immersed in a world of various ethnicities, Cheetie was exposed to new cultures, flavors and food.

Cheetie is a self-taught cook who studied recipes while pursuing a career as a guitarist in touring indie bands- most recently Birds of Avalon, alongside her husband and business partner, Paul Siler.

Upon moving to Raleigh, North Carolina, she embraced the area's culture of readily available renowned agriculture and incorporated these seasonally evolving foods to fit her multi-cultural menus at Garland. Her cooking is refined and thoughtful, filled with imagination and little rebellion. It is unassumingly delicious. Her food is an interpretation of local ingredients made through the eyes of someone who grew up in India, New York City and the South. Call it New American, if you will.

She has been profiled in many national publications including New York Times, Southern Living, the Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine. She has been nominated semifinalist for James Beard Award’s “Best Chef: Southeast” consecutively from 2017-2022 and was a finalist in 2020. She currently serves on Board of Directors of the Independent Restaurant Coalition.