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Chef Raju Bhujel has traveled a long way from home to please guests who dine at the Art of Living Retreat Center. The Center is located near the blue Ridge Parkway outside of Boone, N.C.; Chef Raju is originally from Nepal. Drawing on flavors and spices that span his culinary journey, Chef Raju presents vegetarian dining that is creative, filling and delicious. Meals are served in a 41,000-square-foot dining hall with captivating mountain views.

His culinary experience included learning extensively from his father-in-law, formerly the personal chef to the late king of Nepal. Chef Raju continued his studies professionally, graduating from the National Institute of Hotel Management and working at one of Nepal’s leading hotels. He expanded his horizons by traveling with Crowne Plaza to work in the Middle East, around the world with Carnival Cruise Lines, and at a Michelin-starred restaurant in California.

Specializing in fusion as well as South- and Southeast-Asian cuisine, Chef Raju creates vegetarian menus in the Center’s alcohol-free environment. He describes success in cooking as, “Coming from a fusion of consistency and equanimity.” Chef Raju also believes that cooking is a mindful activity, “I love to prepare food that makes guests feel happy and balanced. Food that is simple and easy to digest.”