Know Your Chef
What inspired you to become a chef? Tell us your story!
I am a psychologist, healer and a certified arts based therapist with about a decade long experience. I have been baking for friends and family on occasions, all my life. After the birth of my daughter, however, I started working/baking as a home chef. This helped me be productive and be a part of my daughters life, which was the only thing on my mind at that time. Little did I know that that this would be the beginning of 'Dessert Safari', a home baking business that I started with the intention of making delicious and healthy desserts. Holachef is a recent journey that I have embarked upon and I am continuously exploring my culinary skills, cooking methods and creativity as the path unfolds.
Which celebrity chefs do you admire the most?
I admire Tarla Dalal for her delicious food and the large variety of dishes that she prepares. These dishes are easy to make and are cooked using basic ingredients.
What entertains you?
Andaz Apna Apna and Sound of Music are two of my favourite films. Music is something that has entertained me all my life.
Do you like to travel? What are your favorite travel destinations?
Yes I love to travel and loved my trips to Bali, Mauritius and Canada. My dream travel destinations include South Africa, Greece, Turkey, Spain and of course the WHOLE of our beautiful country.
Do you like reading?
These days most of my reading includes story books that my four year old loves to hear. Self help books are something I like to read when I get time.
Which cuisines/dishes do you love to cook and why?
I love baking desserts, breads and other savories. I have a passion and a knack for the same. When Holachef happened, I was really looking forward to my reviews from across Pune. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed.
A cooking tip that you always follow.
Performance anxiety is a killer, even when you make your best dishes and recipes. Always remember to cook with a free, happy and loving mind.
What's your favorite kitchen tool?
The one tool has to be my red spatula. It helps me blend everything in the right amounts.
If you weren't a chef, or in the food business, what would you be?
Besides being a counselor, I would be doing something in the arts. I have always loved pursuing something creative and engaging.
What's the largest number of people you've ever cooked for?
I have cooked for about 30 people and the menu included 4 different types of cuisines.
What is that one ingredient you cannot cook without?
Salt. It goes into my desserts as well. Without it everything seems tasteless to me.
Someone famous you would like to cook for?
I am happy to cook for anyone who is willing to relish food. I believe it builds and strengthens relationships.
What would one expect to find in your refrigerator?
A refrigerator full of daily staples, sauces and chocolates.
Which qualities should a person definitely possess in order to become a professional chef?
Patience, willingness to modify as per the demand and self motivation.