Gourmet Gala: Cucina mia

It’s unrestauranting on the rise in Bengaluru, thanks to the chaotic traffic and umpteen gourmet options available easily in the confines of your home. While there are hundreds of restaurants, bars, cafes and breweries mushrooming across the city, there’s also a surge in demand for home delivered gourmand offerings. Move over dal, roti, sabji or the staple rasam – rice, the bold and the beautiful of the metropolis are rejoicing in breaking away from the conventional meals. RITZ Magazine meets a few entrepreneurs in the food and beverage space, who are doing their bit to change the way we dine at home.

BY NAMITA GUPTA

Cucina mia by Natasha Celmi

Natasha started ‘Cucina mia by Natasha’ with an online culinary blog and cooking workshops to teach people to cook western cuisine using local natural ingredients. She says, “In India, cooking is becoming a tedious job done by the house help or the lady of the house. I wanted to show people how to enjoy cooking and make it a stress-free enjoyable activity. With the high standards of restaurants and exposure to International gastronomy, people now don’t want traditional Indian fare every day.

With more women working, they needed to be guided with quick healthy cooking which would be time effective, convenient with easily available ingredients and minimum prep plus nutritious for the family. I’ve been to culinary schools in Italy and Singapore, trained with many chefs and always passionate about cooking gourmet food. I’m an Indian while my husband is Italian, so I learnt to cook simple flavourful food from him and his family in Southern Italy. When I started Cucina Mia, I was a mum of two little kids and found a balance by working from home part time. Today, “Cucina mia by Natasha” has grown into a small company. We now have a YouTube channel and a significant online presence. Off line, we spread our passion for cooking healthy tasteful food with workshops and events across the country. We do private classes at homes and offices for enthusiasts and their domestic staff, menu designing and consultancy for restaurants, recipe development for ingredient brands and food styling and photography.”

“It feels good when people come back for my workshops or when my readers write in to me with pictures of the food they made following my recipes. My style is not to teach recipes but general cooking techniques, tricks and tips which will make one a better and smarter cook. I hope to publish a cookbook by next year and hopefully a TV show. It’s always a pleasure guiding start up cafes and combining the entrepreneur’s skills with my culinary contribution, so I look forward to more consultancy projects,” she adds.