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Chooped star Maneet Chauhan

Food Network® star Maneet Chauhan never expected to live in Nashville one day. Nevertheless, the Chopped® judge and chef, 43, has thrived in Tennessee’s capital for five and a half years, four of them as president and founding partner of Morph Hospitality℠, which is responsible for Chauhan Ale & Masala House℠, Tànsuǒ℠, The Mockingbird℠, and Chaatable℠.

Before her stint in Music City, she lived and worked in New York City. The two locations, she says, have very different approaches to beauty and life in general. “Like any city, there's always a mix of people, but Nashville does have an amazing Southern flair to it, which I absolutely love. Nashville is a little bit more relaxed. It's a little bit less severe,” Chauhan said. “New York is always very precise, because we are all running around.”

And yet, despite not being in New York, her schedule is still very busy between restaurants, TV, and other in-person appearances. Although she doesn’t wear much makeup in her own kitchen, for broadcast segments, it’s a completely different story. And, even when cameras aren’t in view — Chauhan is an engaging, lively, and personable spirit. (In short: her excitement and warmth are not for show . . . even if her fake lashes are, on shoot days.)

In terms of her skincare and haircare regimens, Chauhan has continued to practice many beauty rituals from her childhood growing up in India. While college-inspired DIY skincare treatments take place monthly, Saturday night hair therapy is a weekly affair with her kids. The latter ritual isn't the only thing she’s inherited from her family: “Thanks to my mom, I've been blessed with great skin,” she says. “I used to always take it for granted.”

We caught up with the mom of two at the Charleston Wine + Food® festival to chat about going on-air (with and without her daughter), her motivational mantra, and what she teaches her kids when it comes to beauty. Keep reading to learn more.