Born in Kashmir in 1986, Prateek Sadhu grew up around family farms, learning the basics of the kitchen from his aunt and mother. This natural curiosity for food soon derailed initial plans to become a commercial pilot; instead, he enrolled at a hotel management school in India, before graduating from the Culinary Institute of America with double gold medals.
He went on to work in some of the world’s finest kitchens, including Alinea, The French Laundry, Bourbon Steak, Le Bernardin, and Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe – including a stint under Rene Redzepi at Noma, where Prateek’s intent to source and spotlight local ingredients truly flourished. He later moved back to The Pierre Hotel, New York, followed by a return to India as sous chef at Le Cirque, Bangalore.
The move back to India connected Prateek with Aditi Dugar, who shared his vision of using purely local ingredients to create seasonal and sustainable dishes. This ethos led the pair to travel the country in search of the best regional produce and create strong ties with local farmers. After nearly two years of research and development, they opened Masque in Mumbai in September 2016.
With Prateek at its helm, Masque has blazed its own trail through India’s culinary landscape, garnering a reputation for constant innovation and numerous accolades along the way. Its commitment to sustainability saw Masque ranked among the top 10 on Food Tank’s 2016 list of restaurant innovators in the world. That same year, Prateek was awarded most innovative chef of the year by the Western Culinary Association of India. In December 2017, he was named Chef of the Year at the Conde Nast Traveller Top Restaurant Awards, and in 2018, the restaurant was ranked #5 on the list.
Born in Mumbai, Aditi Dugar grew up surrounded by the delicious foods and aromas of her mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens. She started to cook at the age of 16 and discovered a passion for baking. After the birth of her first child, Aditi left a four-year career in finance to launch a niche catering company called Urban Gourmet with her mother, a move which came naturally given the family’s enthusiasm for food.
A self-taught cook, Aditi refined her baking talents in London at two-Michelin starred Le Gavroche and La Petite Maison. Working with one of the city’s best flower companies, Aditi was inspired by the level of creativity and finesse in event décor – something she felt was lacking in India’s culinary scene.
Aditi soon ventured out of London to study with other chefs around the world. In Thailand, she trained extensively with a vegetarian street food vendor and took a stage at fine-dine restaurant Bo Lan in Bangkok. Other stints at restaurants Zuma and Tsunami fuelled her passion for southeast Asia’s flavourful and indulgent vegetarian dishes.
She met Prateek Sadhu in 2015, who shared the same vision of using purely local ingredients to create seasonal and sustainable dishes. The two opened Masque, a wilderness-to-table restaurant in the heart of Mumbai, in September 2016. Together they have travelled the country to bring to focus India’s lost ingredients, foraging specifically from the Himalayan belt. Aditi acts as CEO of Masque and Director of Urban Gourmet India Pvt. Ltd.