Culinary Expert, Writer & Consultant
I write about food history and stories most often around ingredients, cuisines, and the people who cook them. I also own and run A Perfect Bite Consulting and @APBCookStudio through which I curate culinary experience and help F&B brands and businesses connect with their consumers.
Bitter, because endings are always sad. Sweet, because endings
make space for new beginnings…
I’ve been writing this post for a while… in fact, for more
than a year now. Not knowing how to say
things, sometimes because the words
were just so hard to put out there! But a time comes when the inevitable will happen…
and that time is here...
Shekhar and I opened APB Cook Studio - a perfect love story of a kitchen in 2012. Now, 7 years down the line, it is time to close it. (I must share that it’s been incredibly hard to put these words out there without crying.)
And then, yesterday, my friend Kiran Manral tweeted,
"It's the last month of this decade. What has been the best thing that
happened to you in the past ten years?"
And the answer that popped into my head was… APB Cook Studio!
And just like that, so many things became easier... to say... to do... to move on...
Opening day for the family!
7 years ago we embarked on a journey that was APB Cook
Studio – India’s first hands-on kitchen studio, a place where we could inspire
to cook. It was a crazy idea we dreamt up, and went on to build, putting
everything we had into it... literally one idea and one learning at a time. It
was scary, it was beautiful, it was mad, and it was beyond my wildest dreams of
what I thought I would do in life!
Like all babies, our APB Cook Studio grew, into everything we
wanted, and things we never dreamt it would be... a place of learning,
experimenting, inspiration, craziness, people, friendships and most importantly
And with it I grew as well. I left behind fear, grew in
confidence, learned my weaknesses and how to work around them (that’s WIP), I
stumbled, fell, got up, brushed off and moved on, I've cried bitter tears of loss,
hurt, and insecurity, and I've laughed, loved and been loved. And I have evolved. But as
I’ve grown, my life has come to feel like that proverbial skin, that begins to feel
For a while now I've found myself drawn in other directions. As I
discovered my strengths and abilities, I found I have bigger ideas, even some crazy
ambitions that I wouldn’t even have aspired to think about at one point.... and
I want to give them wings.
First official picture!
I have a bucket list of things I want to tick off before its
time to move to the kitchen in the sky…. study, learn, create, write, continue
to grow. I want to do more in the space of documenting food, especially Indian
food... I have books waiting in my head to be written. There are places I want
to explore, and people I want to meet. I’d also like to be a person that helps
change happen, rather than be a bystander lamenting…
And NONE of this could have been without APB Cook Studio!
The me I am, today, is because of this journey I have travelled. APB has been
one of the most enriching experiences of my life. It has been my life!
Lines from a poem by my favourite poet Robert Frost, from
the poem the Road Not Taken come to mind…
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference....
Life is about evolution and it is time for me to turn the
page on a new chapter, to pass the baton on to other people who are doing be
wonderful, wonderful work in the space of Kitchen studios so I can give flight
to other ideas….
That said however, this is by no means the end. A Perfect
Bite Consulting, the parent company that owns the studio and been responsible
for some fantastic things in the last decade (the Godrej Food Trends Report, Flavour
Conference, Culinary Chroniclers Conclave, Glenmark Pshtik Rasoi to name a few
public projects, but there is also lots of path-breaking work we cannot talk
about due to NDAs.) APB Cook Studio will now function as a Food
lab, Test Kitchen and Food Content Studio, a place of food inspiration where I will take forward my
ambitions to study, document and experiment with food. And I will also continue to
do the things I love, consulting, content development, teaching, writing, cooking classes and curating food events. There is lots of exciting things cooking in 2020, expect to hear
on all that….
The wind beneath my wings...
But, just now, its about a final good bye to our APB Cook
Studio as we all know it, here at Srishti Plaza. Come December it will pass
into the intangible space of memory, of all of us who have lived it, and loved
it.... Thank you to every single person that has been part of the APB Cook
Studio journey, for a moment, or longer, Shekhar and I would like to say thank
you. And invite you to please join
us at APB Cook Studio on 8 Dec 2019 for the APB WRAP-UP!
Shekhar and I we will be cooking, baking and doing all the mad things we always did with all of you that want to join the fun! Our doors will be open from 12:00 – 7:00, do drop by any time for one last shout-out, to all the fantastic
times, wonderful memories, amazing friendships and every beautiful story we have cooked up over the years!
I will leave you with these lines from another poem, by Robert Frost because he always has the words I need when I do not have them...