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Asian Heritage Month: Chef Joe Thottungal Indian cooking demonstration

Asian countries on light background

Throughout the month of May, the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) will be celebrating Asian Heritage Month.

 Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about the many contributions of Canadians of Asian descent but also acts as a reminder for all Canadians to come together to combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination in all its forms. 

Please join us for a virtual cooking show with local chef Joe Thottungal from popular restaurant, Thali and Coconut Lagoon, in Ottawa Canada.

Watch as he demonstrates three dishes, Asparagus Thoran, Chicken Kadai, Pomegranate and mint Raita from his new cookbook "My Thali".

About the author:

My name is Joe Thottungal. I am a Canadian chef, born and raised in Kerala, India. My culinary journey has taken me from cooking school in Chennai to kitchen work in Mumbai, Saudi Arabia, Toronto, and Windsor before I settled in Ottawa in 2002. Together with my chef de cuisine, Rajesh Gopi, and my brothers Majoe and Thomas, I opened Coconut Lagoon in 2004 and then our second restaurant, Thali, in 2018. I was honored to be named Ottawa Chef of the Year in 2008. My Coconut Lagoon team and I have won gold, silver, and bronze medals at both the regional and national cooking competitions of the Canadian Culinary Championships. I am also extremely proud to be the culinary director of the Ottawa charity, Food for Thought, and to have received an Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award and a United Way Community Builder Award in 2020 for the work were doing in addressing food insecurity in the city. In 2022, I received the Order of Ottawa and an honorary degree from Algonquin College, where I occasionally teach classes. I share these honours with the extraordinary team I have the pleasure to work with at Food for Thought.I am the author of Coconut Lagoon, Recipes from a South Indian Kitchen (Figure 1, 2019) and have a second cookbook, My Thali, published in 2023.Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Board of Trade awarded Joe ‘The Newsmaker of the year 2022’.Joe lives in Ottawa with his wife and three children.