Getting to know Food Blogger Kalyan Karmakar (@thefinelychopped)
Food is an essential part of our culture and tradition and we make the best of this on many occasions. People also connect to their cultural or ethnic groups through similar food patterns. Immigrants often use food as a means of retaining their cultural identity. People from different cultural backgrounds eat different foods. The ingredients, methods of preparation, preservation techniques, and types of food eaten is what binds us all together.
Kalyan Karmakar is a very well known food blogger, an author, a food writer, and a columnist based in Mumbai, India. He speaks about his experiences with food of varying cuisines and he shares his stories via his blog and other social media platforms. He is the author of “Traveling Belly”. He also reviews the food presented at different restaurants. He is a curator of good food. Read on to know more about him.
Follow him in these platforms –
Instagram : @thefinelychopped
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/FinelyChopped/
P.S. All the pictures and videos are owned by ©KalyanKarmakar and reproduction in any form, without prior permission, is prohibited
Q. Please introduce yourself. (Where are you based from, family background etc)
I am based in Mumbai. My home for the last 20 years. I am Bengali. I grew up in Kolkata. Was born in the UK. Lived in Iran for a year too before we moved to India. I live in Mumbai with my wife who is an advertising professional.
Q. What made you start your food blog/page? Please share what is your Instagram profile all about and how did your journey start?
I started my food blog 12 years back when I used to work in a market research agency and was looking for both a hobby which could be a creative outlet as well as space where I could share my thoughts on food, especially restaurants.
My Instagram profile is about my everyday food stories and experiences.
Q. Is being a food-blogger your full-time profession or are do you work elsewhere?
I am a food writer. Blogging is a part of what I do. I am also a published author and columnist. I am a brand consultant in the food space and have brought together my experiences as both a market researcher and a food writer in this. I work by myself.
Q. What would you consider your biggest achievement so far?
In the context of writing, it would be my book, ‘The Travelling Belly’, which was published by Hachette India. Writing a book is the dream of most writers after all
Q. What is your signature dish that represents who you are as a cook?
Hakka noodles. A dish that my mother used to cook for me when I was a child and to me represents the simple joys of everyday food and of being open to cultures different from one’s own.
Q. When you post a new recipe on the page, is that usually part of your home menu or do you sometimes have to prepare extra meals?
What we cook for ourselves. It is everyday food.
Q. How do you manage your family life along with other commitments and running a page?
My wife is very understanding and patient and has a far more hectic work life than mine and yet makes sure that between the two of us, things keep running. I owe it to her.
Q. What are the top five ingredients that you would say are essential in all kitchens?
I can speak about mine. Salt, turmeric, pepper, cooking oil, cheese
Q. What is your favorite kitchen gadget or tool that you can’t live without?
My wok. Followed by my oven.
Q. What are your favorite regional cuisines or specific foods?
Bengali, Assamese, Parsi, Mangalorean.
Q. Which other world cuisines have you tried and what do you like about them?
Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Malay, French, Swiss, Arabic, Bangladeshi
Q. What other activities are you a part of apart from being a food blogger? What are your hobbies?
I practise Buddhism. That involves chanting, study, meeting fellow members of the organisation I belong to. I have rediscovered my love for reading recently. Fiction
Q. Please share your experience with different brands you have worked with?
Over the years I have managed to increasingly work with brands who value what I do and try to focus on that than make me do something which does not fit my persona.
Q. There are a lot of shoddy people on social media who either try to discredit others or stalk them. How do you deal with such people or negativity in general? Does it bog you down or affect your mental peace?
It can be a bit distracting but at such times I try to focus on my own work rather getting waylaid. I restrain myself from responding/ commenting when I see things that I disagree with. Later, when I reflect about it, I feel compassion for the person because I feel that some of this stems from insecurity or genuine grievances. I genuinely feel that nothing is to be gained from social media skirmishes.
Q. Local Bazaars or Supermarkets – What is your preference when it comes to choosing fresh ingredients for the kitchen?
Q. Can becoming an Influencer be taken up as a profession for future generations? How to not get lost amongst the masses? Any tips?
One should not start by wanting to become an influencer. Please develop your own voice. Say something which is of value. Be seen as a person of influence. Then explore being an ‘influencer.’ Do not let the tail wag the dog
Q. What are your future plans for your page and profile? Are you happy with the way it has shaped up?
I have been doing a lot of soul searching about this and realised at the end that talking about everyday food and the people behind them is what excites me and that is what I want to stress on. Now that I am clear about the anchor, the next step is to decide on how.
Q. Lastly, any word for our blog? Thank you for your time!
Thank you for the opportunity. It is great that you are showcasing so many different voices in your blog.
Thank you, Kalyan Sir for taking out time to talk to us, and having such a wonderful and heart-to-heart conversation. We look forward to your continuously bringing more deliciousness to our feed!