Monday, September 20, 2010

Can I be the Next Food Blog Star?

YES, I CAN! I say this not because it sounds cool, but because I truly believe in myself and my cooking skills. Cooking needs passion, and blogging needs writing skills, and thanks to Almighty, I have both! I started this blog in 2006, when blogging wasn't such a great activity, social networking still meant calling a bunch of friends home for snacks, and spending a 1000 bucks on DSLR's to take food photos was unheard of. But now we are in 2010, where food blogs have replaced famous cooking sites and bloggers have a credibility and a following that is unmatched by others.

I started cooking at the age of 12, and like most other girls, I was influenced by the delicious family meals that my Mom cooked for us at home. My food career started with Indian cooking, but then I went to undergrad school, away from comforting home-cooked meals, which helped me develop my taste-buds further, getting exposed to different cuisines and styles of cooking. A few years down the lane I came to US for grad school, and food and cooking took an entirely new meaning for me altogether. I now had to cook large meals that fed at least 6-8 roommates, but even more challenging was the fact that the food should be delicious enough to satiate foodies from several nationalities. A couple years down the road, I married someone who is no less than a food critic, and I knew I could depend on him to critique my skills and honer them. Thanks to all these diverse experiences, I found myself evolving into a passionate cook!

Why Should I be the Next Food Blog Star?
When I try to think of a Food Blog Star, I imagine a person who can turn ordinary food into something extraordinary and exotic. Most of the people who read food blogs are simple men and women with no formal culinary training. They are just looking for inspiration to make a memorable meal for their family or friends, and need a recipe that is easy to follow. Also, the style of blogging is important - it should be simple and personal, and some delicious food photos to showcase your recipes goes a long way in convincing someone that they too can create the same kind of magic in their kitchen!

I believe I have all these qualities as a cook and blogger. Being a vegetarian all my life, my food blog only showcases vegetarian recipes, but they are tasty enough to lure even meat-lovers alike! I love fusion cooking, where I can experiment to my heart's content with ingredients, herbs and flavors of different cuisines and varieties. But yes, the recipes would definitely have a touch of Indian influence that will linger on your minds long after the food is gone!

I add a personal touch to my recipes, no matter whether they are original or adapted. You'll find several flavor twists and recipe variations in most of my recipe posts, so my readers can adapt them to suit their own taste-buds. Also, I love sweets & desserts, especially baked goodies, so you'll find a lot of sweet treats on my blog. This blog is the reason I learned to Make my own Fondant Icing, or make a Layered Chocolate Cake for someone's birthday! But as a mom of a growing toddler, I know how important it is for our food to be healthy, so I try to incorporate healthy into my recipes as best as I can, as well as add ideas and suggestions to make them more kid-friendly. But the most important thing, you will find a lovely picture of the finished recipe in every post, inviting you to take a spoon and grab a bite right off the screen, at the same time enabling you to believe in yourself as a chef and recreate the recipe in your own kitchen. And food looks inviting only if it is presented in a beautiful way, so I try to add tips on how to plate your food beautifully, so you can score accolades for both, the look and the flavor of your food.

Cooking is a skill to be developed, just like any other skill, and it needs vision, passion and commitment from the artist, the chef. Not everyone is born with it, but it is definitely a skill you can cultivate and enhance, and I would love to help in my own small way. As a food blogger, it is my responsibility to share my knowledge and skills with my readers, and I will always deliver it in the form of delicious home-cooked recipes tried-and-tested in my kitchen, along with equally delicious photos as proof that you can do this too! Every note of acknowledgment that I receive re-instates my belief in myself and my skills as a cook. And this is the reason I have decided to participate in Foodbuzz's Project Food Blog, their latest venture of crowning the Next Food Blog Star, And each one of you can help me achieve this goal by voting for my blog as I try to encompass each challenge (Voting badge is on the left sidebar, top of the page).

Remember, good food is the key to win every human's heart, and its not difficult to create good healthy food at home. A little skill, a good recipe, and some easy presentation skills can make you a beloved chef in no time!

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