Creating a New Foodscape: Arijit Choudhury

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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?
My blog is titled AriGami and is derived from my pet name Ari. I was always keen on writing about everything that mattered to me. We are all unique in our own ways and in a greater sense of the word-Special! It was this need to feel special which got me into creating a word infusing my name into it –AriGami=Everything about Ari. However, it was impossible to find a blog URL with the same, and I settled for worldofari.com

One thing you love about cooking and eating?
I was always excited to create new flavours using different ingredients and how their respective proportion changed the taste and look of the dish. I used to be unhappy with the spice levels in my mom’s cooking and tried to modify them, adding my own flavours and spices to it. This was how my knack towards cooking developed at pre-adolescence, and soon after, I was cooking all sorts of dishes, sometimes looking at recipes or creating my personal version otherwise. I have always had a thing for extremes- and hence, bland and spicy foods are my absolute turn-ons. I love French cuisine with its somber appeal and basic flavours, whereas the spicy notes of Indian and Asian cuisines intrigue me equally. I love the various options food offers – strikingly different in taste, flavour and presentation.

How important are photographs and knowledge of food?
Photographs are the primary specimen of what a blogger is trying to showcase. The responsibility of a blogger goes beyond simply a decent picture of a dish. A food blogger needs to visualise the dish and present it to their audience in the best way possible. Good knowledge about photography including focus, natural light, aperture and lighting conditions go a fairly long way to a good shot, but without a clear vision, the picture will lose its relevance. It is important to recreate the story of the dish as envisioned by the chef, only then can a picture speak a thousand words. Knowledge about food is imperative for someone to call themselves a food blogger. It is not always possible to know about various types of cuisines in the world, but one should always have a genre and area of expertise and try to work from there upwards. Knowledge is never-ending and to be able to write about and illustrate cuisines successfully, basic to intermediate knowledge is essential. It is not possible to know everything, but an effort to listen, absorb, and research goes a long way in making a blogger produce quality content.

An interesting experience as a food blogger?
I get to experience a variety of cuisines. Recently, I was chosen to be one of the Chief Tasting Officers of Havmor Ice Creams to be selected among thousands of applicants from all over India and was flown in to Ahmedabad at the Havmor Factory to have a first-hand feel of how ice creams are made. We also created our very own signature flavours as part of our 3-day workshop in there and tasted each flavour.

What else do you do? How lucrative is it being a food blogger?
The world of food Blogging is not hunky- dory from a career perspective. It takes time and a lot of hard work to finally establish yourself where one can expect decent earnings. It is important to find your niche within food blogging and work up towards setting up a successful brand around the primary skillset. The world of food blogging is vivid-in order to start earning you have to identify your genre and start from there. Be it a food critique, recipe developer, home chef, event curator, coordinator, or food stylist-every niche is unique and has a unique career graph. Hard work, dedication, and resilience are the only keys to success. It is lucrative only when you are able to identify your niche and present it to your audience that your efforts are appreciated and well- compensated. I’m a Creative Content Writer by profession. I decided to walk away from an IT Technical Writer’s job to follow my passion via blogging and started with food blogging and now cater to various categories of lifestyle. I’m also a speaker and volunteer for mental health awareness and intend to spread my views on the same via my audience. It is our duty and mission to show the right path and lead by example. As an influencer, you should always speak the truth-whether you get paid for it or not.

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