Fascination of food that started with stirring vegetables in the kadhai and mixing pickles in grandma’s kitchen has shaped Anushruti’s career and now she’s here to share her story.
Experimenting with different cuisines and delving deeper into Ayurvedic nutrition is how she started maneuvering her fascination. Read in tio know more.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
My father is an entrepreneur and has a chemical industry. Being influenced by him, I loved chemistry as a student and at that time, had no clue whatsoever, that I would be doing what I’m doing right now.
That said, food has always fascinated me and even as a young girl growing up in South India, I have memories of stirring vegetables in a kadhai and mixing pickles in my grandmother’s Bangalore kitchen. But my tryst with food in the way it has shaped my career and my life, began only when I shifted to Mumbai in 2003. Suddenly, I had a kitchen all to myself with a plethora of ingredients that a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai has to offer. This was when I began experimenting and delving deeper into different cuisines and also researching into Ayurvedic nutrition and cooking. I started to look at food not just as a means to feed the body, but also to fuel growth, calm the mind, heal the body and bring great contentment and joy.
The knowledge acquired was translated into writing articles and recipes in Bombay Times (a part of the Times of India Group), BBC Good Food and other publications. Then there was this deep desire to share my stories (my food amost always revolves around a memory or story), recipes and pictures on a platform accessible to many and that’s how divinetaste.com was born.
What’s in the name?
It was in my Mumbai kitchen somewhere in the year 2003 that I made a pot of tomato rice. I was smitten by its taste and sensed a divine power in the food. The coming together of ingredients to put a plate of food on the table involves multiple resources including many hands- be it the growing of food grains, vegetables, and fruits, the transport and packaging and the actual process of cooking involves the divine hand of a supernatural force. I’m always looking for that divine taste in food while creating a recipe or while eating the food and the name was a flash of inspiration of the same.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I started my site in 2008 and my virtual space is a reflection of the food I eat and the life I live. I’m someone who walks the talk and my USP has always been food and lifestyle inspired by sattvic and ayurvedic cooking principles.
I like to showcase India’s rich vedic heritage through my work. The focus in divinetaste.com has always been on pure vegetarian and sattvic food. The vedas (ancient scriptures) classify food as sattvic (mode of goodness), rajasic (mode of passion) and tamasic (mode of ignorance). Sattvic food is known to create positive vibrations and subtly nourish the mind, intelligence and consciousness. Staying true to these ancient principles while incorporating modern methods has helped me a great deal.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
Maintaining a website or a blog involves dedication and work to be done. It means working with a web developer and a graphic designer and after the website is created, quality content needs to be updated on a periodic basis. This involves ideation, recipe development, testing, writing, photography, publishing and interacting with people on a regular basis. It is quite challenging, but I have always loved the creative and entrepreneurial aspects of my work.
A post stems out of food memories, at times induced by spotting an ingredient or a dish, an exciting idea or the many festivals and ceremonies that dot our lives.The entire process of a post or a shoot coming alive, right from conceptualizing, cooking, writing, photographing or filming in case of videos, and putting it all together has always been done with a focus on expressing my creative process and putting out content that resonates with my readers.
Staying relevant for me involves staying true to my principles and being relatable comes from listening to what my audience wants from me.
How do you take moolah with your efforts?
Im grateful that once my site was established, it led to media attention, workshop invitations, writing assignments, brand collaborations and digital/T.V work. Right from hosting a workshop for the European Union, writing for BBC GoodFood, collaborations with brands like the Tata group apart from others, hosting food shows, designing menus and other assignments, I have done and continue to do various things to keep the ball rolling.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
I’m very clear about my brand values and collaborate only with brands that resonate with my values.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
I cannot think of a single experience or instance as such. The testimonial section of my website highlights some of the comments and feedback that I have received over a period of time. The fact that I’m able to touch and inspire people through my work makes it all worthwhile.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
I’m grateful for all the brands I have collaborated with, but its funny when certain brands dont do their research and come with requests to showcase non vegetarian foods or alcohol, things that are not in tune with my brand values.
If not blogging, you would be?
Perhaps a chemist or a food technologist. I’m glad that now I get to do what I love.
A day in your life….
I wake up early before the sun rises in the time that is called the brahma muhurtha-the purest part of the day. My morning routine involves mantra meditation, sending my son to school and all the preps that come with a school going child, surya namasakar and reading the Bhagavad Gita. After that I get into the kitchen to test recipes and then go into my study to write blog posts, articles or scripts incase I have shoots coming up. I rest for a few minutes in the afternoon and then spend some time with my son. Evening involves more reading and writing if I have deadlines coming up.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Out of experience, I can say that the focus should always be on putting out original and great content and if your work is good, recognition will follow. Staying true to my culture and values while adopting the ways of a modern lifestyle has helped me a great deal in my journey.
It’s important to keep going despite hurdles and obstacles coming your way which is a part life. It’s also important to love what you do which will inspire and give you the momentum to go forward.
Your Favorite Influencer
There are many out there who are doing great work so its difficult to name a few.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
A career in the food industry is like a tree and one can branch out in various ways. As the world continues to evolve and change, food acquires a new dimension in terms of the way we perceive it. Keeping that in mind, I have a lot of things planned for the short and long term future. Right now, my focus is on my recently revamped site which showcases the core aspects of my brand.