Creating a New Foodscape: Rupa Balachandar

There is a great reverence in the art of cooking and presentation and most restaurants and pubs are innovating new ways to please the palate with nouvelle cuisine, giving the classic dishes and cocktails a welcome twist. Adding to the camaraderie and celebration of various cuisines are food bloggers and influencers, who have emerged with their robust content and visual presentation, luring food lovers far and wide with their huge outreach. The city’s obsession with food is clearly on the rise. Eating is a multi-sensory experience and the blogger brigade is using enticing ways to cash in on how you eat with your eyes. Even research suggests that it is our eyes that lead the way and our tongues merely follow. NAMITA GUPTA meets some of Bengaluru’s top food bloggers and influencers who’re doing their bit to spread the word to the ardent foodies on the lookout for spanking new hotspots to dine in and lounge at.



Name of your blog?

I am the editor for G2K (Good to Know) an online F&B an online media platform that is into F & B consultancy, restaurant launches and is also a media and news portal on Facebook.

One thing you love about cooking and eating?
I made a decision a long time ago to turn vegetarian and since I travelled and lived in many countries, I enjoyed learning about native foods, herbs, spices and techniques that I acquired along the way. I have a fascinating collection of stories related to food, art and history from around the globe. I love making vegetarian versions of world cuisines that retain authentic flavours of the different regions I’ve had the opportunity to live in.

How important are photographs and knowledge of food?
Like with any industry, food writers have to be outstanding in their field, many fail helplessly for a lack of understanding on how to photograph a subject! With such a vibrant social media, it is saturated with persons claiming to be experts, but they don’t really have the necessary skills/benchmark to do so. For example if you have never eaten Pasta in Italy or Sushi in Japan, then it’s a bit tough and does not put you in a position to write or critique it!

An interesting experience as a food writer?
I lived in Malaysia for a brief while and sadly I fractured my foot as soon as I got there. So on my first week of being able to walk I slowly made my way to the “Pasar” (market) at the end of the street I lived in, on my crutches and a kind elderly Malay gentleman helped me figure the different vegetable prices and carried my bag back home! On our way back, he insisted we stop at the Chinese bone setter across the street to buy TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and healing herbs. When we got to my home, he showed me how to make an herbal soup… and the thing is he did not speak English and I did not speak Malay… we communicated as caring humans and understood each other perfectly well despite our major handicap because of our love for food!

How lucrative is it being a food business?
I never intended for my passion about food to have a financial benefit, however I was offered to do a TV cooking show for Eenadu TV (Etv) that was dubbed in several languages! I canned (taped) over 550 episodes and it was quite a thrill to see my passion turn out to have monetary gains, and a very lucrative one at it! My mentor Suresh Hinduja believed in my ability to write insightful articles and offered me the editorship at G2K that is involved in F & B consultancy, restaurant launches and digital marketing for many restaurants pan India.