Dishari Dutts likes to pursue her culinary passion with innovation. She takes every ingredient and makes it into her own. That is the secret mechanism of “Hungry&Skinny”. Her customers have received the exact same flavors which they wished for.
Highlights of this episode
- The idea behind “Hungry&Skinny” – her food startup.
- The alignment of creativity with cooking.
- Jagerbomb cupcakes made with redbull + a shot of Jagermeister. That’s right.
- Why Nigella Lawson is her chef icon.
Quotes and TAKEAWAYS
- Think out of the box. Don’t be ordinary, it’s too boring.
- Nobody said chocolate means sweet, or that chilli means spicy. It’s how it’s used that matters.
- That’s how creativity and cooking comes into being. I try to out do myself with every order, no two orders for me are the same.
Tell us about your company. What are the things you specialize in? What inspired you to become a chef?
My company’s called “Hungry&Skinny” because my friends would always tease me about how I constantly ate and failed to put on even a little bit of weight. So I thought of naming my company after me, since I’m the only one that runs it! I specialize in dessert, mostly cupcakes of any kind. At Hungry&Skinny, we turn anything you want into a cupcake. That’s me shamelessly advertising!
As a chef, what has been your best creation so far?
Without a doubt, Jagerbomb Cupcakes. Jagerbomb is this alcoholic drink that you get at bars. It’s redbull + a shot of Jagermeister. I took that drink and made it into a cupcake.
When developing a menu how do you enforce the standards that you have set in place?
To make one thing clear, we don’t have a menu. And we never will. That’s what sets us apart. Like I said, at Hungry&Skinny, we’ll turn ANYTHING you want into a cupcake. This attribute motivates me to keep getting better and better and expanding my skill set.
As a chef what part of the food industry excites you? How do you want to make an impact here?
I think everyone’s born with a sense of flavour. We just don’t utilize it. It’s very interesting to see what different people can whip up with the same ingredients. I would like to encourage everyone to challenge themselves creatively, especially with regard to food, because you never know when you just might end up surprising yourself and the world!
Do you read cookbooks, magazines, etc. Are they in tune with the Food Network and the Cooking Channel?
Yes I do. I have about a hundred cookbooks in my house that I refer to from time to time, and I read Good Food, I also watch a LOT of TLC and Masterchef, which gives me ideas to work around!
How would align creativity and cooking? How much of it have you implementing in your work?
Creativity is breaking free from the existing notions in society. Nobody said chocolate means sweet, or that chilli means spicy. It’s how it’s used that matters. An ingredient by itself is powerful, and you can manipulate that power to suit your taste. That’s how creativity and cooking comes into being. I try to out do myself with every order, no two orders for me are the same. I try to make different variations of the same thing. So one chocolate cake will never be the same as the next one.
What is the one caveat to lookout for while baking?
It’s frustrating at first, when your recipes don’t work and you can’t figure out what you’ve done wrong. But with practice and patience, and a lot more practice, everything eventually falls into place.
How do you see the job market for culinary professionals? How do you think it will be in the next five years?
Looking at the current increase in conventional job opportunities I see a bright future for culinary professionals. The people in India have become very varied in their food, they have accepted and relished and made foreign recipes their own. Even parents of the 21st century have become open to job opportunities in the culinary world, 10 years back no one would allow their child to get into a kitchen, “bawarchi nei banana hai usko” was a common reply. Now parents send their children off to culinary schools due to the increasing prospect and good job opportunities in the future.
Last but not the least, what would you say to fellow chefs who pursuing their passion?
Give it a try, do not hesitate so what if it doesn’t turn out perfect in the first go there is always a second chance. Cook with your heart and never fear a thing. Don’t bother what people say to you, even if they judge tell yourself at least you will have a good laugh about it later with a nice plate of food in front of you. It takes a lot of dedication to make a name for yourself in the culinary world, enjoy every minute of it, and keep moving ahead remember you do a good deed by feeding hungry people.