Hi guys, here is the next big interview in Food Bloggers’ series, we have Chaithra with us. Chaithra is a famous food blogger and works as a banker. As per our readers request we finally made this interview as this weekend special. She shared lot of things from her journey as a blogger, cook and full time banker. Here is the Weekend Special Interview with Chaithra
Let us know a brief about yourself and your education background?
I am Chaithra and I appear to many as a tacit and shy person, but my earnest advice to you is, don’t go by the face. I can be the most submissive and soft-spoken girl and also at times, surprisingly obstinate and vociferous! You see, I’m not as eloquent in my speech as I am at blogging!
I am basically a very choosy person and I ace at freaking out for little things. I’m a Grammarnazi of the highest order. I am extremely meticulous about my grades and my academic performance. I am a Biotechnology Graduate and working as a senior process analyst in the world’s largest bank i.e, Bank of America. I hope to become a famous lawyer one day (graduating from Harvard Law School!!) I know, it’s too good to be true, but who doesn’t dream anyway? I am an absolute book junkie! Also I’m a very versatile music listener! I cannot survive without my Miro! Reading and blogging are my natural instincts besides well… breathing.
How did you get attracted to Food Blogging and food networks? Tell us a little about the journey, how long have you been in food blogging?
The moment I saw this question… I have been thinking as to how did I get into blogging?… Seriously I don’t even know how I got into blogging eve after scratching my head twice. My attempt is to focus on recipes from Andhra along with recipes from other cuisines. It is an attempt to preserve what has been passed on to my mother from hers and from my mother to me. I have been into blogging for about 5 years.. Halfway down due to work load and shift timings, I was away from blogging for 2 years and recently got back to blogging in full swing.
Who motivated or supported you from your family?
My mom is my support and she is the driving force behind Aathidhyam and helps me with creative ideas for food styling along with props.
We have seen many awards in your blog, tell us about food awards?
We have a great blogging community with food bloggers all over the world sharing their recipes and love through various modes like awards, gifts, giveaways, coupons etc. Aathidhyam received its share of love, encouragement and support from various food bloggers who sent those awards appreciating the blog, its look and the author behind.
What is Foodies Lounge, it looks unique and delicious, tell us something about it?
Foodies Lounge is a special place to find the Yum happenings from all the wonderful blogs. It’s my honest attempt to bring all those Fascinating cooking blogs under one roof and this blog is dedicated to all those Amazing Food bloggers right there.
Tell us about your favorite recipes.
Stuffed Kulcha, Golden fried baby corn and Chilly Paneer. I love Chinese, Italian, Continental and topping the list is Indo Chinese versions.
Who has been your biggest influence?
My mother and my colleague/best friend -Pranjal
Do you offer food consultant services on your blog to users?
I’m yet to think on offering food consultant services. May be in future but for now I am happy sharing what I have learnt.
As a food blogger, you may work as a food writer, an Author, food consultant and food photographer which one of these would you love the most?
I love being a food blogger. I am experimenting and dishing out things in my kitchen and then posting it straight on my blog.
When and how did you build up interest for cooking? Share with us your first cooking experience.
I was in Intermediate when I started this blog. I started this blog to kill time initially during my vacation. Owing to the response and visitors, I got hooked to it completely and then I realized there is lot more than mere posting of a recipe. Right from look of the blog to its blog header and other minutest details needed so much of creativity, skill on HTML codes and loads of time. It’s a great experience to learn, recreate tastes and design your page. My first cooking experience was a super hit. I prepared Sambar and it was really very complicated dish with so many ingredients. It took me about 3 hours to prepare on a single burner stove. Glad that people appreciated its taste and every Sunday they want me to prepare my Sambar
Is food photography similar to normal photography, how different and difficult it is?
Food photography and normal photography are always on cross lines. Food photography is a very tedious job and involves lot of time. One needs to click more than 8-9 clicks and select the best ones to blog. In food photography, food styling is very important and also we need to capture the minutest ingredient in the pic and make it very attractive and clear for the readers. It is very essential for the bloggers to capture pics in such a way, that with the mere look at the picture, visitors drool and want to taste. Before posting the pics, we have to edit them in photoshopy and sign my photos to avoid plagiarism and basic edits and stickers on pic will make recipe photo look more tempting.
How important is it for the blogger to interact with their readers? Do you respond to all the comments that you receive?
It is very important to keep your blog alive and visitors keep your blog alive and pour their inputs/thoughts/criticism/love/suggestions etc. I do respond to comments but not to all because of time constrains, but I respond to every single email or FB comments I receive. I feel that blog author needs to have a fair understanding regarding the recipes which are receiving maximum hits and interest the readers and need to post recipes which keep the visitors hooked to the blog and keep them eagerly waiting for the next recipe. A randomized approach towards posting recipes on blog keeps the blog lively, inviting and refreshing.
Do you sell food items or recipes on your website or online?
I do not sell any food items or my recipes online. My blog is my passion and It’s my motivation and my own cookbook.
Do you consider yourself as a food blogger or a food entrepreneur?
I would consider myself as food blogger.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 10 years?
I want to see myself as a fulltime blogger experimenting various cuisines and flavors from all over the world
Share us your free time activities and hobbies.
I love playing with dogs especially my black Lab Terry and miniature pomerian Juju. I am not a social networking freak. Interior decoration fascinates me and fiction attracts me. I spend time reading books and my favorite author is Preethi Shenoy.
Any advice or suggestion do you want to give to a newbie willing to choose food blogging?
Newbies or new entrants into cooking, food blogging or blogging do come into the world of blogging you will not only enhance your cooking skills you will also get a chance to learn photoshopy, work with html codes and sharpen your designing skills. If you need any suggestions, you can drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you.
Samira Ghoshal, is Food lover and freelance writer. She writes on eCommerce, Copy writing tips, and is interested in conducting interviews with food bloggers, having chats on food networks and she works for a food blogger’s magazine in Mumbai. Want to contribute, join our community Startup Corner. Subscribe to get free updates.