Tillis Kitchen – Teaching Gourmet Indian Cuisine To The Palouse
BTE Bootcamp™ Alum Brings Health-Focused Gourmet Indian Cuisine To The Palouse
A Man Of Many Trades
Max Manjit Mohan is a man of many trades, from fashion to financial consulting and more. But, at the heart of all of his endeavors is his love for cooking healthy, delicious food.
Mohan has been working as a businessman for as long as he can remember, sharing an anecdote of one of his early endeavors;
“While still in school in Bombay, India, I was first in line to befriend American students from the University of the Seven Seas that paid a call to the port of Bombay. I sold them Indian handicrafts and ‘hippie’ clothing and jewelry, which were much in vogue at that time.”
After graduating from the University of Bombay he started an export company and traveled the country sourcing fashion opportunities for Western markets. He began a clothing manufacturing business exporting to the United States, Australia, and across Europe. Mohan moved to New York City from Bombay 45 plus years ago starting an Import-Export business distributing fashion goods to major retailers and also exporting US products internationally. After receiving his Executive MBA from Pepperdine University, he ran a Computerized Financial Systems Consulting business in Beverly Hills, CA.
While in India, he focused on cooking Western and Chinese dishes. But when he moved to NYC, after missing his mother’s cooking, he taught himself Indian cooking. Thus the name Tillis Kitchen after his mother. It’s fair to say Max became a ‘foodie’ in multiethnic, multicultural New York City.
He now aims to introduce Indian cooking classes to the Inland Northwest through Tillis Kitchen. The classes demystify preparation of the cuisine and emphasizes the health benefits of spices, also used in Ayurvedic medicine. He emphasizes holistic health along the principles of Ayurveda, the ancient ‘Science of Life’, that focuses on the unity of body, mind, and Spirit.
Mohan’s most rewarding class was in March to five-year-old kindergartners at the Palouse Prairie Charter School, Moscow. “Introducing these eager young minds early, to Yoga, Meditation, and vegetarian cuisine will hopefully allow them to make intelligent food choices as they grow up,” he says.
Mohan serves as a volunteer mentor for SCORE, a national organization of executives, that offers free advice & mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“When I moved to NYC 45 plus years ago, I wish I had had a mentor to guide me through some rough times as a new immigrant. I would like to be that mentor for a startup or small business looking for guidance,” said Mohan.
From Volunteer To Camper
He has been involved with the PKC so for more than a year and volunteered at the BTE Bootcamp 2016 as a videographer. After witnessing the benefits the campers reaped, he decided to attend as a camper with Tillis Kitchen in 2017.
Mohan was selected as one of the six finalists to compete in the Palouse Challenge event.
“The Bootcamp felt like a refresher course of my MBA. In five days! The Q&A from the Sharks was instructional and the networking opportunities were invaluable.” he said of the experience.
So what drew Mohan to the Palouse?
After a request for peas & lentils from his brother-in-law Gansham Buxani, a major importer of food products into Nigeria, that he first discovered the Palouse through the Pea & Lentil Commission in Moscow, (before Google, he adds). After seeing their brochure featuring our beautiful rolling hills, Mohan visited the following winter, fell in love with the area, upped and moved to Moscow, ID. “I have never looked back,” said Mohan.