Reinventing Dining at Home
“Barnard was not only my family, it was my safe haven,” says Shristi Mittal ’09. Now a mother of two living in London and working as a marketing strategist for a startup called YHangry, Mittal has made a career out of her desire to re-create the sanctuary she made for herself at Barnard by helping to reinvent what it means to dine at home. Yhangry, the company she joined in June 2019, sends a chef into a person’s home to cook food for anything from a dinner party to weekly meal prep. The service is surprisingly affordable and different from takeout, says Mittal, as it “[brings] back the humanity in food and increases real connections — with your loved ones, with the creator of the food, and [with] the food itself.”
While Yhangry is a relatively new company with only three full-time employees and 35-40 affiliated chefs, Mittal is excited about its potential for growth. She is especially invested in supporting parents in solving food-related problems and has drawn on her own experiences to help shape the company’s future, which she says is the best part of her job. Her work now is “everything from finding the most exciting and nutritious recipes, to speaking to chefs who [have] incredible stories, to understand[ing] clients and the problems they currently face in their daily lives.”
After starting another company, Truly Baby UK, which sells luxury pajamas for children, on her own, Mittal is enjoying Yhangry’s team environment. Forging real connections with people is integral to how Mittal under-stands the world. Indeed, at Barnard, while majoring in economics and minoring in art history, Mittal founded the Bollywood dance team Dhoom to do just that. With her teammates, she spent countless hours every week researching tournaments and choreographing dance moves. The group has performed at national competitions and at the inauguration of Barnard’s past president Deborah Spar. The dance team is still active today.
Her passion for community has enhanced her “love and appreciation for what Barnard had to offer” and helped her “to push into new heights” while maintaining her identity as an individual making a home and an impact on campus and across the world. Mittal, who was born in India and moved to London at age 10, came to deeply understand the value of community while at Barnard. “I loved bumping into familiar faces every day and knowing that no matter how homesick I was, I was never alone.”