Lets Talk Food With Devika Manjrekar| Indie Eats
Chef Devika Manjrekar, a Le Cordon Bleu alumni, who’s worked at Bernadi’s and The Empress in the UK and traveled a fair share of the world has had much to add to her palette. Her cooking skills have been showcased at various pop-ups she has been doing across the city, winning us over each time with the delicacy and style in plating and innovation with menus. Her flair for flavour profiles combined with intricate detailing used with right ingredients speaks volumes about her love for food and creating beautiful dishes worth digging in to.
We decided to speak with this young, enthusiastic talent house to know her take on food and how it is such a major part of her lifestyle, whether she is cooking, eating or traveling!
Tell me what food means to you and what being a chef is all about.
Quite simply, food means everything to me and I’m lucky enough to have it as my full-time job. Even before I began cooking, my life revolved around what I was going to have for my next meal. All my travels are also planned around the food. If the food isn’t exciting, the place doesn’t interest me.
Being a chef is one of my greatest joys in life. I’m happiest when I’m cooking. I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living. It is hard work though, so if you’re not a 100% committed to it, you’re not going to make it. The kitchen is the only place where I’m organized and neat. I can be in it for hours without complaining. Ask my family and friends, I’m not this focused on anything else in my life.
What is your take on the pop up culture in our city?
The pop up culture in Mumbai excites me. The fact that so many people are cooking for the love of it and not for the money makes me very happy.
You’ve traveled quite a bit, what do you carry back with you and how do you represent it in your food (if at all)?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot as a child and now, even though I’m broke most of the time (millennial issues), I spend all the money I make on travel. I’d say that travel is what inspires my food the most. I make sure to pick the places I eat at carefully, read up on it, and always, always visit the local food markets. It gets my juices flowing. I’ve also started this thing where I bring back ingredients from my travels and use it to create my pop-up menus when I’m back in the city to make it as authentic as possible.
Considering our city is the most cosmopolitan in the country, do you see us catching on to world food trends fast enough? What is your opinion on the current trends?
Haha, I think we catch on a little late and by the time we do, the rest of the world seems to have moved on. Also, I’m not one for food trends unless they actually taste good. I find them pretentious most of the time. Activated charcoal croissants? No thank you. I like my croissants buttery and flaky and honestly, still haven’t eaten a decent one in the city so please let me know if you find one!
If there’s one thing you’d like to change about our food culture, what would it be and why?
I’d like chefs to care about the food a little more and stop treating it just as a business. I’d also very much like for them to follow food health and safety strictly. I want to stop being afraid of eating out and ruining my stomach. It isn’t all that bleak though because I have the best chef friends who feed me the most amazing food so I am quite lucky that way!
Follow @devikambing on Instagram and Twitter to know all about her journeys with food and to keep up with the pop ups she hosts. We’ve tried some of her food and we know that its top-notch stuff so keep an eye out for her next event!