Kothari, a native of Calcutta who trained at the renowned French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, had only opened her waterfront "Indian soul food" restaurant Nukkad in February; by March 30 it was forced to shut down amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
But on April 16 she reopened for delivery and take away, announcing just days before she died that she would also be donating meals to Jersey City Medical Center, asking followers to donate.
"I would so appreciate the support of the community at this point of time!" she wrote on Facebook six days before her death, according to News India Times.
"Existence in silo is not possible, hence I feel compelled to stay open & support my skeletal staff & be able to pay some fixed expenses (now that small biz fed loans have been lapped up by the Ruths & Shake shacks!!)"
"The Prosecutor's Office Homicide Unit is actively investigating this case with assistance from the Jersey City Police Department," Hudson County Prosecutor's office said. "While it appears at this time that these deaths are the result of a murder-suicide, the final determination is still pending the findings of the Regional Medical Examiner's Office."
Kothari was formerly an investment banker in India before switching careers to become a chef, placing in the top 15 in MasterChef India in 2010.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, she eventually moved to New York and became and event manager, curating events for celebrities such as the Clinton family, Melinda Gates, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cher and Deepak Chopra.
Mall was a graduate of India Institute of Technology, who came to the US to pursue his masters degree in financial engineering at Columbia University.