Traveling from scientist to spice specialist has been an amazing journey, says Pune native, Deepa Patke. Her Vienna-based business, Aromatic Spice Blends, has led her back to her Indian roots in a very unexpected way.
“I came to the United States as a postdoctoral student on AIDS research,” she says, “and I did my fellowship and worked at Johns Hopkins.”
Her position there with a clinical trials project in India allowed her to travel back and forth for about a year. Then during another postdoctoral position at the University of Maryland, Patke gave birth to her son, and considered career options that would allow her more time to be at home with her child. “Working in the bioservices/biotech industry at a demanding position and being away from my son for crazy hours, I seriously contemplated moving to my passion with food for good,” she says. "I owe a lot to my husband in terms of encouragement, belief and unwavering support.”
Because he loved all the spices Patke was making for her home-cooked meals, he suggested she share her spice-blend creations with others. “He loves all the spices I make at home,” she says. “I enjoy creating and experimenting, so food and I get along very well.”
This article first appeared in the Fairfax County Times.