Bygone are the days when cooking food was stereotypically associated with women. Today, the baton is seen to have passed to men who take utmost pleasure in cooking sumptuous food. So, we at Tricity Scoop, spoke to a few men from Tricity who have mastered the art of cooking.
Following the ‘Tasty bhi, Healthy bhi’ Funda!
For twenty-five years old (bachelor) Gaurav Saluja, cooking has been all about eating tasty and healthy food, while giving utmost importance to the nutrition value.
“My cooking experience started ages ago. When I was a little kid, I always used to ask my mum to cook me Maggi for lunch. However, that didn’t always work out, so one fine day, this little kid went to the kitchen when no one was looking and tried his first attempt at making a packet Maggi. The kid was so happy and felt so proud of this small feat that he never stopped since then,” reminisces Saluja who is presently working as a Design and Development Consultant with an IT firm.
“Ever since that day, I got this spark in me to cook. So, I started to learn different recipes that I could cook. Cooking is an important aspect of my life. In addition to the everyday food like dal, round chapatis and south Indian dishes like idli, dosa and appam, I can also cook delectable delights like red and white sauce pasta, soups, vegetable oats, jalfrezi, and a lot more,” he adds.
Saluja firmly believes that being able to cook your own food is similar to the idea of independence, as it allows you to take care of yourself and your nutrition.
Converting Passion into Profession
Some get motivated to follow their passion and for some, destiny leaves no choice. The story for photojournalist-turned-chef, Pankaj Sharma has been the former.
Sharma had a passion for cooking ever since a very young age and as he grew up, he decided to convert his passion into his profession.
“I’m a photojournalist, but that’s only half of my story. The other half involves cooking. I started cooking when I was just 9 years old and I don’t think I’ve ever stopped really. I have been a photojournalist for over 30 years and I started making Amritsari Chole about 10 years ago. Ever since then, I have been developing and perfecting my own masala recipe with the hope of turning this into something bigger one day and have my own small restaurant,” shares Sharma who has cooked his special recipe for people across 5-6 countries including Paris, London, Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain.
“Whenever I visited these countries, I carried my ‘Unique Masala’ with me and prepared food for families and friends during my stay with them. Now, I have turned my passion into my profession. I love the fact that there are unlimited possibilities in the food industry and that there is space for all. What you really need to have is a unique adaptable taste for your target market and develop a palate yourself; following which the world is your oyster,” he adds with a satisfied smile on his face.
A resident of Chandigarh, fifty-five years old Sharma staunchly believes that one must follow his inner calling, irrespective of the preconceived notions of the society.
“The fruits of your labor will eventually pay off and you’ll be well on your way to doing what you love. Passion could be anything and can be discovered at any age. It does not have an expiry date. Nothing brings more satisfaction than doing what you love. So, don’t keep thinking that one day you will find time for this. Now is the moment and now is the perfect time to start. Don’t let your passion take a back seat,” he concludes.
Finding Happiness in Cooking
For hotelier-turned-banker Varun Dada, cooking has been all about defining happiness.
A forty-five years old resident of Mohali, Dada pursued a Hotel Management degree and worked in this industry for about seven years, before moving to the banking sector.
However, this professional shift, in no way diminished Dada’s love for cooking.
“I love to cook on weekends as it’s a kind of stress buster for me to cook for my kids and friends. I love cooking Thai curry, Indian chicken gravies and dishes like Augratin, Lasagne pizzas and pastas.”
Mastering the Art of Cooking
For thirty-three years old Nikhil Marwaha, the love for cooking came from being inspired by his mother and wife, whom he considers to be the world’s best chefs.
“After being inspired by my mother and wife,I started cooking by watching Manjula’s Kitchen & Hebber’s Kitchen YouTube Channels. So, special thanks to them,” smiles Marwaha who works as a Senior Electrical Engineer in Maersk Line.
“Since I am in the Navy, I make sure that I cook at least once a week on the ship. At home, I always cook on special occasions or when I want to master my skills in cooking something. Some of my special dishes include Mushroom do pyaza, Bhindi do pyaza, Bharwa Karela Masala, Bharwa Capsicum, Masala Dosa, Keto style Grilled chicken, Rara Chicken, Saute Veg Italian and all types of salads.
COVER PICTURE DESIGN BY GAYATRI FRANKLIN (https://bit.ly/3lYmTD0)