Rakhee Vaswani is a celebrity chef, culinary expert, food consultant, teacher, author, Cooking show host, entrepreneur and above all, a food lover at heart. Certified by Le Cordon Bleu at Gordon Ramsay’s Tante Marie in London, Rakhee began her culinary journey at the tender age of 11. Touted to be “the ‘Desi Nigella’ of India, Rakhee is a natural with flavours and textures, her biggest asset being her strong palate and a deep-rooted passion for the culinary arts and food the industry.
Rakhee is successfully leading Palate Culinary Studio, a first of its kind international quality concept space and a state of the art island kitchen studio. Celebrating 8 years of pioneering culinary training in India, Palate Culinary Studio offers multiple courses and Workshops that serve as the stepping stone to all that is culinary.
HospiBuz brings you an exclusive interview, straight from the words of Rakhee Vaswani to know more about how she let her passion flow into her food.
HospiBuz: Every person has some inspiration to leap out with something. How did you realize your capabilities and passion for cooking and what drove you to endeavour out into the food industry?
Rakhee Vaswani: I have felt strongly connected to my taste bud since the age of 11. By the grace of God, every incident in my life only brought me closer to my culinary dreams. The idea of using food as binding factor for the east and west helps me explore more and more ideas in fusion. I realised of late how important it is to establish the foundation for high-quality culinary education by building a good education system. This being the main reason why I recognise myself as a teacher above everything else in the food industry.
HospiBuz: What are some of the challenges that you faced in the Food Industry and how did you overcome it?
Rakhee Vaswani: I initially used to take cooking classes at home which I discontinued for a while as being a mother involved a lot of responsibilities. But my family immensely supported me to get back and kick-start my career. It wasn’t easy as I was out of touch for a bit and also the stereotype emerges from how Indians want their wives to cook good food but when comes to watching someone on TV, they want a good-looking male chef! Times are changing though as true passion triumphs over all obstacles! It’s been 9 years and I haven’t looked back.
HospiBuz: You are a Chef, Author, Consultant, Teacher and an epitome Entrepreneur, what is something you would associate yourself the most and what has something that has driven you to successfully manage all your ventures?
Rakhee Vaswani: Being a teacher is something I undoubtedly associate myself with. The sheer joy of sharing your knowledge with others and learning so much more in that process is extremely satisfying. It truly helps you leave an eternal mark in the industry and somehow all my ventures bring out the teacher in me, be it T.V.Shows, books, classes or demonstrations.
HospiBuz: Having started with 10 one-day workshops to 100+ today, from a garage to a premium boutique studio, having homemakers to celebrities and professional bakers as your students, how have you and your cooking style evolved with time?
Rakhee Vaswani: The idea is to realise that no matter how far you go in life, there is still so much more to learn. Food industry is evolving tremendously in terms of trends. Keeping a track of these trends is a huge challenge. An open mind to learn new things always helps. Even at my studio and academy, one thing I always ensure is to regularly update the courses with the new trends like healthy baking, buddha bowls and super foods.
HospiBuz: At ‘Palate Culinary Studio,’ you have a spectrum of students aged 5 years to 80 years. How have you manage to meet the expectation of all? What is your USP for it?
Rakhee Vaswani: I believe that there is no age-bar for passion. Specially passion for cooking can finds its way from anywhere, anytime. My USP would be understanding all age groups and accordingly teach them to make sure they get the maximum value out of their class.
HospiBuz: Your book, Picky Eaters, has a wide range of recipes in order to make every meal appealing to kids. Is this book an outcome of your own experience with your picky eaters? Please share your ideas behind this book and a few tips to deal with the Picky Eaters/Fussy Eaters.
Rakhee Vaswani: Yes, definitely! My experience at home while dealing with my picky eaters planted the idea for the book. Children can be very fussy when it comes to food choices. I feel the trick is to hide the healthy ingredient with a tasty makeover and serve them nutrients secretly while tickling their taste buds. This can be done by using healthy substitutes from the primary stage.
HospiBuz: There has been increasing obesity with the upcoming generation. Could you please highlight some antidote to counteract the increasing obesity among the young generation?
Rakhee Vaswani: This is extremely related to fussy eaters as well. In the search for eating tasty food, a lot of people forget the health factor. I feel small minute changes can encourage healthy living and healing like sugar intake, carbs and cholesterol. Like you can air-fry or roast your food instead of deep-frying it. Healthy substitutes are easily available and inculcating them in our lifestyle will extensively maintain our health situation. For example, I love south Indian food so I choose to eat Dahlia upma instead of regular upma as it is extremely healthy. Also, dahlia is a super food so it is a win-win situation.
HospiBuz: ‘Kitchens are becoming an important part of the home and consumers want a modern kitchen with latest gadgets’. What are some of the gadgets that are a must in your kitchen? How you keep pace with the daily inventions and evolutions in the food world?
Rakhee Vaswani: I absolutely love the Kitchen Aid Blenders. I think they are a must have for a modern kitchen. Keeping a pace with the daily inventions are a challenge but it is also unavoidable as the whole idea of staying in a industry involves regularly updating ourselves.
HospiBuz: You have countless admirers and followers. Please share your success Mantra with them?
Rakhee Vaswani: It is never too late to start and once in it, put all your hard work in and don’t forget to smile! I feel passion and hard work can win over anything and everything irrespective of the obstacles you face. Age no-bar for passion, after all.
HospiBuz: HospiBuz is working on its vision to be the most informative media house on hospitality where HospiBuz aims to cover well accomplished and budding heroes of hospitality sector. With your immense experience and knowledge in the industry please suggest, what should journalism in Hospitality sector cover the most?
Rakhee Vaswani: HospiBuz is undoubtedly doing a great job. I feel journalism in Hospitality sector should focus on all upcoming trends and ventures. It should provide a medium to people who want to reach out and make it big. It needs to bring out the big business that food media is and has the potential to be. Journalism in hospitality sector plays a key role in presenting the industry in a way that it is more accessible and acceptable. Keeping that in mind, HospiBuz is a great platform for people to explore their potential and to educate the readers about various trends and growth opportunities.
Thank you so much for precious time !!
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