Food- its making and presenting is an Art form in itself. We, at The Uncommon Box believe in turning the spotlight on this aspect of Art as well. We are delighted to introduce you to our Food Guru for this write-up RIMLI DEY. She shared with us the joys of taking up her passion- that is, cooking and blogging. Her journey is certainly inspiring and will surely motivate the readers who share her passion.
#TUB : What do you do initially and from where are you?
Originally I’m for Kolkata, West Bengal but based in Pune, Maharashtra. I did my bachelor degree and masters in Computer Application from Kolkata only. Then I joined multinational software firm as computer engineer.
#TUB : Tell us in brief, about your journey so far?
My overall journey is a bit different from many people as I never had any interest in home cooked food or cooking during my teenage years. Street food was my preference in those days and it was pretty easy to find it in wide variety in street food paradise, Kolkata. I used to roam around the streets of Kolkata to capture the moments through the lens of my camera and live on street food.
But later when I moved to Pune and started living on my own I realized how deep my troubles were; I didn’t even know how to make tea. That was the point when I began to learn cooking and after a year or so I started my blog Scratching Canvas. Gradually my hobby street photography also turned into food photography. I blog mainly about food; tradition, recipes, food styling and I use my YouTube channel to demonstrate the videos of those recipes. Now I do Food Styling Photography on one hand and supply home cooked Indian sweets & baking goodies on other hand.
#TUB : Why did you decide to specialize in food?
Food is the basic necessity of life. You can manage without other things but you can’t live without food and I realized it hard way. During my initial learning days of cooking I used to follow many cookery shows and websites. I tried to follow the instructions to the T but I had noticed there were something missing and often the end products were completely different from what it should be. There were days when I had to struggle to cook a decent thing to eat after the tiring day. Unfortunately there was no one for me to help. So I started my blog to help people like me. That is why I documented all my recipes with step by step illustration; I try to include even the tiniest details. And this is the sole purpose of my blog till date.
#TUB : What are the challenges you faced on the way?
Well, life is full of challenges and you have to swim against the current if you don’t want to go along with the waves.
Initially I had confronted two types of challenges; one is to cook a dish properly without any guidance and second is establishing me in front of people. I try to present foolproof recipes to my readers and that requires multiple trials of every single dish until it is perfect. Sometimes it becomes tough to invest that time after maintaining my daily schedule. In such times blogging or photography takes the back seat. Initially I had noticed working on my skills were rather easy than gaining people’s trust. Cooking comes naturally to many people and it is hard for them to understand why one needs to click pictures of food and share them on regular basis. But gradually I got my audience who picked interest in my food and photography.
Then I concentrated on quality photography and there comes one of the toughest things to tackle in todays world and that is plagiarism. It is utterly heart breaking thing to see few people are using your pictures for their personal/professional gain without your consent and there is no way to stop them due to lack of proper law in our country. I am still fighting against it like many other artists and I will, always.
#TUB : What aspect of your passion do you find most creative, most satisfying?
My most creative aspect of blogging is food photography. Photography is my passion from my teenage but that time my subject was street activities and people. I was very fond of portraits. I had never imagined that one can create such magic with food and a camera. And now I’m very glad to choose this path.The most satisfying part is the smiles on other’s faces. It gives me immense pleasure when I see a happy satisfied reader/client.
#TUB : What kind of experimentation do you do with food?
My most common experiment is creating fusion dishes out of traditional recipes without destroying the authenticity. Like my Coconut Molasses Mousse Cake tastes like Coconut Jaggery Laddu but it is a full-fledged cake or Gajar Ka Halwa Swiss Roll is actually Mawa Roulade with stuffing of traditional gajar ka halwa.
I love traditional food be it savoury or dessert but honestly many of them are not appropriate for today’s lifestyle. Few of them need long hours to cook and many require deep frying which is not a healthy choice. So I try to simplify those recipes to fit in our lifestyle of course without affecting the taste. Like I bake Gujiya/Karanji or Modaks instead of deep frying them; I had shared technique of cooking cake on regular gas burner successfully instead of baking in oven.
#TUB : What are your plans for yourself?
I’m extremely moody person. Right now I want to be more active on my YouTube channel and social media and I’m working on it. And my dream is to work as food photographer professionally; may be some day!
#TUB : Any words of advice, as per your experience, for budding foodies?
Love your food and respect your own choice. Take time to appreciate other’s work and surround yourself with the positive vibe. Admit your weakness; learn from criticism and show them that you are here to stay. But most importantly you have to believe in yourself and enjoy your work.
Now, wasn’t that something! Thank you dear Rimli for sharing your story with us at The Uncommon Box.
The Uncommon Box (TUB), is a pannier with uncommon treasures from our very own common surroundings. Everything in this world is unique in its own way; it's just the matter of realizing and appreciating it. We are here with our thoughts which have been gathered from the common lives we are living. We believe in the special or uncommon that remains undiscovered or unnoticed in our routine hectic life. The aim of this community is to ‘be uncommon and do uncommon!’