Fellowfoodie Interview Series - A Mumbaikars Journey From Maggi To Mexico And Beyond !! Anita Mokashi Of Crave Cook Click
The much awaited interview for the next #fellowfoodie is ready!!! This interview is very special as I not only know the blogger, Anita Mokashi personally but attend her events whenever possible. Its a pleasure to interview Anita and get to know more about her and Crave Cook Click. Anita is also a member of itsPotluck, Checkout her profile here : Anita Mokashi at itsPotluck
Can you give an introduction to yourself ?
I am Anita Mokashi, Business Analyst by Profession and Photographer By Passion :)
Photography is my first love which opened the vast arena of food, landscapes and portrait photography for me. My blog www.cravecookclick.com is about Indian recipes, food photography, festivals and travel. It is the replica of my passions in the form of a blog. I have a photography website with the namewww.anitamokashi.com which is for my photography assignments.
Apart from my blogs I have Crave Cook Click (CCC) Facebook group which is a platform to share anything and everything about food/art/photography/culture/travel. We organize monthly meetups, events and lunches to celebrate festivities, promote talents of the group members and nurture life long friendships
You can read more about my photography journey on below link
What was the first dish that you prepared and when?
The first dish which i prepared was Maggi and it was during my MBA days maybe 7 yrs back :) Trust me I never knew that i could cook until i moved to US 5 years back!
Tell us something about food from your birthplace
I am from Mumbai Meri Jaan. For me Mumbai=Heaven of Street Food
Mumbai & Street food are inseparable. From Pav bhaji, malai gola, vada pav, bheja masala to banarsi pan, you say it and you get it. It’s amazingly tasty and colorful. Different parts of Mumbai depict different specialties of street food.
My favorite street food from Mumbai is Vada Pav
You can read more about Mumbai Street Food on below link
How different does your meal look now from your childhood? or is it still the same?
Oh yes my meal today looks quite different from what I had in childhood. Back home in Mumbai it was Varan Bhat and Bhaji Chapati. Today I experiment a lot with world cuisine. Sometimes i make tacos from Mexico, misal pav from Mumbai, pies from London, paella from Spain, Jambalaya from Puerto Rico, french fries and burgers from US, etc
But yes Indian food is the closest to my heart and I make it more than other cuisines.
Apart from mom who else is your food/cooking inspiration and why?
I love Tarla Dalal videos. Her recipes and videos are so simple to follow.
Talking of your own cooking, what are some dishes that you love to prepare
I just love making street food like misal pav, vada pav, chaat, dosa.etc. Also I am a big fan of authentic Maharashtrian non veg delicacies like komdivade, kolambi bhaat, etc
What inspired you to start your blog?
When I came to US after marriage, I didn’t know even C of Cooking. I remember burning rice:P
Ritesh my husband used to cook dal chawal for me as i was clueless about using pressure cooker. After getting bored of Ritesh’s cooking..lol and to feed my inner foodie, i decided to learn cooking. I started calling mom for day to day recipes and then my friends and Ritesh were the guinea pigs for my experiments. After some practice i was able to make a decent meal for everyone. After basics i wanted to learn fancy dishes so i started following Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor.Now everyone was praising my dishes and asking me recipes. The idea of food blogging clicked and this is one of the best thing happened to me.
How do you plan your blog posts? (Details on research and getting ingredients, preparing recipe and gathering props etc
First I decide which dish I want to prepare. Then I read about it online like its history or any specific culture it belongs to as i like to integrate these facts in my blog post. I make sure that all ingredients are ready. Prepare the dish. I also like to take in making shots and ingredient shots. Next step is I finalize the prop and background for photographing my hero which is my dish :)
Checkout one of her recipes for this Diwali Celebration:
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start blogging?
Always blog about something which you are really passionate about for e.g.If you want to start a food blog you have to be really passionate about food. Read a lot about your interest, drive inspiration from your mentors, learn to click good pictures, make the content lucrative for readers. And most important be True, Genuine and Original. Getting inspired is good but do not ape other bloggers.
How do you take pictures of your recipe? ( smartphone/dslr/digital camera)
With DSLR Canon 6d
Have you got any photography tips for digital camera that you can share?
An expensive camera and lens is not the shortcut for getting good pictures. Beginners should focus on learning the basics of photography, click in manual mode, acquire knowledge of angles and compositions, learn post processing and read lots of material online. I never went to a photography class. Self learning is the way to go. Find yourself a mentor and then ping him or her for questions once you have done your self study. I have a section on my blog which is for sharing food photography tutorials, have a look there too
Have you got any photography tips for cellphone camera that you can share?
Nowadays the pics taken from cellphone camera are also decent enough but i would definitely not use them on my blog. They are good for posting on instagram. Make sure you use a good app like snapseed for editing them. I have written a blog post for using snapseed. You can read it here http://cravecookclick.com/snapseed-great-photoapp/
Food presentation and detailing is very important for food photography. Can you share some secrets regarding food presentation?
The most important thing is keep your plate clean :) Messy shots look good sometimes but not always. Try to have contrast props to your subject. Try to include cultural, festive aspects to your food pics. For e.g. you can serve dosa and chutney on banana leaf, serve paella in spanish wooden pots, serve lassi in steel glasses.
Have a combination of white and colorful props in your collection. I love to serve and photograph my food in antique props too
What are the must have props for food photography?
White dishes, Wooden backgrounds, Reflector and A Tripod are must for food photography. Reflector and Tripod can help you to eliminate shadows and get sharp pics
Whom do you consider mentors in food blogging, food photography, kindly provide reference website, names or blogs if using any.
I follow Andrew Scrivani (Photographer at Eating well) and Alan De Herrera (http://www.culinaryphotographer.com/)
Among Indian food bloggers who do you consider mentors?
Dassana Amit from Veg Recipes of India is my 1st mentor :)
Apart from blogging what are your hobbies ?
I love photographing people and landscapes, travelling and running half marathons!
Mention any accolades and achievements from you blogging/photography journey.
Won 1st prize in Passion For Baking Contest of New Woman India Magazine. Recipe published in their March 2015 issue
Featured on Top 12 Food Blogs in India
Featured on NDTV food
Featured on Huffington Post
Featured on Society Magazine
Featured on Dainik Bhaskar
Featured on Buzzfeed
Rapid fire round:
Favorite food not cooked by you: Pork Ribs
Favorite dish cooked by you: Misal pav
Favorite ingredient: Kasuri Methi
Dish you can’t live without: Misal pav
3 things always found in your fridge: Cream, Tomatoes and Ginger Garlic Paste
Favorite kitchen tool : My Ceramic Knife
If you are a foodbogger we invite you to join our growing network of food bloggers and homecooks in 2 Steps: 1) Register 2) Submit your food blog after registering. Its that simple !! Looking forward to your association.
All homecooks / non bloggers look no further, now you can create your own blog on itsPotluck in 2 Easy Steps: 1) Register and 2) Submit Recipe . Thats it!!! Yes. Checkout how many non bloggers use itsPotluck to post their recipes and make their collection online : Deepa Rupani , Dipika Piyush Ranpara and many more. Check their Recipes
Special Thanks to Anita for the interview. Thanks a lot everyone for their support as always.
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