Meet Honest Cooking contributor Shuchi Mittal from the blog 29 Calories.
By Kalle Bergman
Shuchi Mittal cooks with the heart of a poet. She likes to create simple, wholesome food, with an effort to re-create it in some way or the other – by fusion or presentation. Her dream is to cook, feed, write, and eventually open her own cafe – with a published recipe book on the stands.
When and how did your passion for food start?
– I wish I remembered exactly when. I think it was during my boarding school days when I used to visit home in the holidays and, starved of simple home food, my mother used to spend hours trying to create and re-create food that tingled my taste buds. I used to love watching her play with simple Indian ingredients and indulge in ever so stylish presentations- even though it was just a simple meal at home. I guess that’s when I knew I must always cook, and cook to create.
Do you think you have a specific cooking style or philosophy?
– I dislike measures. I like throwing things together in proportions that ‘feel’ right, and mix random ingredients that may otherwise not be seen in a dish. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s the best part. Cooking to me is all about having fun, and that’s as simple a philosophy I can boast of.
What’s your favorite restaurant, and why?
– This is tough one. I think I can safely say I don’t have one, more so because I prefer to feed than be fed. However, if I were to pick a style, I would say quaint and quirky little cafe style establishments catch my fancy the most. The food always feels personal and the decor is undemanding, yet every detail has a story behind it. Examples would be (amongst those I have seen!) the Grey Hound Cafe & Sanctuary Tea in NYC or Barista Jam in Hong Kong
What’s your favorite holiday from a food perspective?
– Thailand & India. I like fresh dishes that show some color, are a burst of different flavors and portions that don’t finish before you begin! Both Thailand and India have a full-stomach-meal policy where servings are healthy, ingredients are fresh and hot and dishes simple yet fragrant! Plus, street food in India is the best- and I don’t just say that because I am Indian.
What do you think or hope will be the next big food trend?
– Whatever I create I hope!
What’s your best tip for anyone who wants to improve their cooking?
– Patience. You cannot be a good cook if you tend to watch the clock. Quick meals does not mean unfinished meals. As a tip, cook with a nice glass of wine and music, and you will enjoy every second of it!