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Rohini Dey

Owner/Founder Rohini Dey



A leading restaurateur, proponent of Indian cuisine with her unique Latin twist across Vermilion Chicago and NYC, an avid supporter of women – former World Bank economist and McKinsey management consultant - Rohini Dey straddles the worlds of business and philanthropy across the US and India.

Rohini’s career spans several phases:

  • She taught in Academia, has a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a Doctorate in Management Science from the University of Texas. Her dissertation was on the impact of foreign direct and portfolio investment flows on economic growth and development. She also published on Corporate Governance.
  • She worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. where she managed projects in foreign investment and coauthored a book on Infrastructure Privatization.
  • At McKinsey & Co., Rohini’s management consulting project experience and knowledge development spanned a range of industries with a focus on growth.
  • As an Entrepreneur, Dey has combined her business credentials with her passion for food by establishing restaurants in Chicago and the heart of Manhattan.
  • As a Writer, she wrote a series on restaurants “From the Gut” for the Chicago Sun Times Splash celebrity page, she writes for Huffington Post, she has written op-eds for Crain’s Business, and on Indian cuisine as a soft power for Reimagining India (McKinsey collection of essays).
Rohini was inspired to break away from her management consulting career by a desire to go entrepreneurial and a zealous mission to be an ambassador of Indian cuisine. She created and developed the Vermilion indian-latin concept and cuisine and led the spectrum of entrepreneurial activities across her NYC & Chicago entities. As founder, owner and culinary director of Vermilion, Rohini drives the operations and culinary evolution of her restaurants. Her chefs have competed on Iron Chef, Next Iron Chef, Top Chef and judge on Chopped.

Since inception, Vermilion has been acclaimed as “Best New Restaurant” by Chicago Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, USA Today, Bon Appetit, Wine Enthusiast, 3 stars Tribune, 4 stars NY Daily News among others. For it’s pioneering cuisine and the rarity of a woman-led team Rohini’s entrepreneurial journey has been profiled in The Financial Times, Time, Oprah Magazine, Fortune, FSB, Business Week, Esquire, Crain’s, Sante, Shelter, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, BBC World, CBS News, NBC, Business Today, More, TV Asia, NDTV among others. Rohini’s awards include Woman of Distinction by Children’s Hope, Woman of Distinction by Varli Culinary, Entrepreneur of the year – India by the City of Chicago, Philanthropy Award by American India Foundation. Rohini was selected by the Economic Times as one of the “Overseas Indians set to shine even more.” She is on the Board of Trustees and the National Advisory Board of the James Beard Foundation, a member of the US State Department Diplomacy Culinary Initiative, and on The Advisory Council of the Illinois Restaurant Association. Rohini’s entrepreneurial journey was featured on CNBC’s Consumed restaurant business docu-series show.

As a woman restaurateur, Rohini is a staunch supporter of women in business and education of girls on a global level. She co-founded the James Beard Foundation Vermilion Women in Culinary Leadership Program (WICL), backed by a roster of nation wide restaurateur-mentors. She founded the non-profit MSEdG-Educate Girls Globally to which all her writing proceeds go. Dey is an active member of The Chicago Network (TCN), International Women’s Forum (IWF), the Women’s Forum of New York (WFNY), and the Economic Club of Chicago (ECC). She actively hosts and has served as a keynote speaker for business conferences and lifestyle events across innovation, culinary, entrepreneurship, and women in business. Rohini stays connected to academia by engaging actively with the Entrepreneurial departments of leading Business Schools (University of Chicago, Kellogg, Columbia University) and has been featured by McKinsey & Co. as a leading entrepreneurial alumnus.

Rohini is known in the lifestyle space (Women of Influence – Michigan Avenue magazine, 50 most beautiful Chicagoans – Chicago Magazine, Beautiful Homes – Chicago Social, Entertaining with Flair – Chicago Tribune,). She was one of the ten Chicagoans featured on the City of Chicago’s video to welcome NATO delegates and present at the summit. On a personal level, Rohini is equally passionate about all four of her babies (both her daughters and restaurants), is an avid reader, loves to dine out, enjoys travel, running, swimming (Chicago Marathon, Half Ironman Triathlon), amateur squash and chess, and has accomplished a personal dream - climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.



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