Monday, December 02, 2019

It’s a Wrap – Saying Good-bye to APB Cook Studio

This is a bittersweet post to write...

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 love.

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 too tight... 
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...

From Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening.

....The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Thank you, again, for everything. 


PS. To keep up with my activities, the best place will be here on my blog, also My Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter

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