Raaga to shutter doors

September 18, 2017 GMT

After more than six years of serving his savory modern Indian cuisine in an adobe cottage on Agua Fría Street, on the property of the former Sanbusco Market Center, chef Pramod “Paddy” Rawal has announced he will close the popular restaurant Saturday.

“With deep gratitude and humility I announce that upon the advice of my personal physician regarding my health, I can no longer maintain the pace that Raaga demands,” Rawal said in a statement Friday evening.

He could not be reached to comment further on the decision.

Rawal, a native of Mumbai who moved to the U.S. in 2001, has been in the restaurant business for nearly three decades. He opened Raaga in 2011. Since then, it has received positive reviews in local publications and online sites, and has been a regular participant in community events and local fundraisers, such as the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, the ARTfeast Edible Art Tour, which benefits art programs in Santa Fe Public Schools, and the Souper Bowl soup competition, which raises funds for The Food Depot.

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In 2014, Rawal released his first self-published cookbook, The Raaga Cookbook: Modern Indian Cuisine. Last year, he produced another cookbook, Curry, Korma & Kebab: A Culinary Journey of India.

Also in 2016, Rawal appeared as a contestant on an episode of the Food Network show Chopped.

The notable chef got a shout-out on live TV earlier this year by daytime talk-show host Kelly Ripa, who vacationed in Santa Fe and raved about the city in an episode. She and her husband enjoyed a meal at Raaga, Ripa said, and they got to meet Rawal.

But that’s not unusual. The busy chef is known to take time away from the kitchen to visit with his diners.

One of his favorite aspects of running Raaga, Rawal said in an interview with The New Mexican shortly after the restaurant opened, is “the diversity of the diners and the awareness locals have about various ethnic cuisine.” Because his regular patrons are so well-traveled, Rawal said, he was able to be more experimental with his menu, adding dishes with a contemporary flair to his traditional Indian cuisine.

In his statement issued late last week, Rawal said, “I am deeply grateful to my staff and to the community, guests and patrons for the encouraging response I have received over the past six years.”