Chef Meherwan Irani is credited with helping change the perception of Indian cuisine in America. He came to the U.S. to earn an MBA but found that he missed the spicy cuisine of his home. So, he learned how to cook it himself. He continued to cook for friends while working in the auto industry in California, but always dreamed of running his own restaurant. In 2009 he took the plunge with his wife and business partner, moving to Asheville, North Carolina, and opening Chai Pani. It was a big hit and just the first of five restaurants he now runs in Asheville and Atlanta.