Childhood, food, movies are their inspiration
For Ambica Selvam, blogger and food stylist, it was the movie Julie and Julia that set the trigger for food blogging. From an e-learning consultant to a food stylist, she found blogging to be a way to preserve her family tradition as well. “My mother was a fantastic cook and I wanted to document her recipes as well. I don’t cook for my blog. It is actually the other way round,” she adds.
Similarly, Monika Manchanda, an ex-IT professional turned food consultant, says that a break from work paved the way for her career in food. “A small break I decided to take stretched to years. I did a couple of baking and food courses. The more I did, the more I liked it and I decided to make a career in food,” she says.
Neha Mathur, a former dental surgeon turned recipe and food consultant, on the other hand, was drawn to the baking products that she saw in a super market that got her excited about baking, setting the tone for her blog.
Both content and visual appeal matter
While most of their photographs and writing may seem very appealing, blogging is a serious business and a full-time job, they stress. Monika says that there is more to blogging than just photography and recipe writing. “It is a constantly challenging field inspite of how
glamorous and fancy it looks from the outside. Like every other work we do, we have to keep ourselves constantly updated on the trends and latest happening in the field.”
Clicking pictures of food is not easy either. A lot goes behind to get the perfect shot that is drool-worthy. Ambica Selvam, blogger and food stylist, says one needs to understand the food they are clicking. “Certain foods have their own characteristics and to get the perfect shot I had to understand this. I always plan ahead in order to get the right picture or else the food loses its freshness,” she says.
Then, there is always the technical part — making sure that the blog is updated. “I had to figure out a lot when I started blogging. The technical part, setting up the blog itself was a challenge by itself, figuring out search engine optimization (SEO) and other things,”
says Neha Mathur, recipe and food consultant. “Managing the blog, keeping it secure, making sure it loads fast, no outage, drawing a consistent audience are just some of the challenges that I face of late,” says Nandita Iyer, nutrition expert and food blogger.
Eat healthy using local ingredients their mantra
While a lot of them do restaurant reviews and brand consultation, many of them also promote healthy eating. Nandita, through her blog promotes healthy eating. “My forte is nutrition centric content and recipes, mostly using local ingredients,” she says.
There are others who make full use of locally sourced ingredients and put up recipes according to seasons as well. “Currently I am running a series on summer fruits — melons, Indian berries and mangoes,” says Monika. “I make dishes regularly and put the recipes on the blog on a daily basis. Depending on the season I either make a lot of coolers (for summers) or soups (for winters),” says Neha.
Sheetal P Mote, entrepreneur and food blogger, prepares dishes using locally sourced ingredients and encourages people to do the same. “I cook a lot of dishes using local ingredients. People ask me for recipes and my blog is all about locally grown food,” she adds.
Food blogging opens an array of career avenues
What began as a hobby for many has now turned into a full-fledged career. Food consultation, recipe development, food photography, brand association, social media engagements and food writing are just a few career options that comes with blogging.
“Food blogging opens up several career options in the industry. You can even work with restaurants and style and plate food for them,” says Ambica. Brand associations and sponsored content on the blog also is sometimes a product of blogging, say Monika. With so many bloggers in the city, these bloggers believe that there is space for everyone.