By Ishita Saha
Behind Our own Closed Doors
Behind Our own Closed Doors we turn the tables and talk about ourselves as #FoodPreneurs
This month we thought we would do something different! We’re always going behind the doors of restaurants and talking to chefs etc but rarely talk about ourselves – the creatives behind the virtual doors of FoodeMag dxb.
Who are we? What do we find exciting? What inspires us? After all aren’t we FoodPreneurs in our own way?
Here’s a bit more about us, the #FoodPreneurs behind our very own magazine FoodeMag dxb. Two bloggers with very different backgrounds, dreams and aspirations brought together through a shared passion of food & travel.
Individually we started as bloggers in our own right sharing our stories in our own way on our own websites. In fact we both started to write long before it became trendy to blog and share our stories on Instagram! Together we form FoodeMag dxb a registered business hoping to share, inform and inspire you to share our journey
Here’s my story
Ishita Saha ~ IshitaUnblogged.Com
I always dreamt of writing, travelling the world, wake up inspired every day of my life, go to work where I will be surrounded by family, friends, laughter, good food, music and love. Basically, make the world my workspace and the workspace my world. I am the chaotic creative brain at FoodeMag that Debbie, apart from her day-to-day job of managing campaigns and pitches and thinking of new business ideas, also has to tame. I also dream of writing a travel cookbook one day and have a boutique restaurant of my own which will focus on Bengali cuisine, but not in the way it is known to people right now.
What or who is the inspiration behind your start-up?
I live by the quote of Hellen Keller: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” For me, every moment has to be inspired. Every heartbeat has to be felt. If I can’t inspire or make a difference by doing something, I would rather not do it. This philosophy shaped my culinary travel blog IshitaUnblogged. Blogging has given me much more personal gratification than my chosen career in advertising and as I delved deeper into blogs, I realised how much passion and effort it takes to build a blog with an unique voice. A good blogger is knowledgeable, impartial, has unique insights and writes for an audience that knows and loves them. We – Sarah (author of the very popular blog, The Hedonista) and I, both of us felt the urge to go beyond our own blogs and bring out a content that will be inspirational. As individual bloggers, we were not being able to go beyond the philosophy and the direction of our own blogs. At the same time we wanted to showcase the work of bloggers around us who had been inspiring us. This gave birth to our digital baby – FoodeMag dxb. Sarah has long left and Debbie joined the FoodMag journey and with her immense wealth of experience and vision is shaping it up in a way that I always hoped for.
Tell us why your business is the “best thing since sliced bread”
I can’t say we are the best thing since sliced bread only because we never wanted to be consciously different from anyone or better than anyone. We are charting a course that is our very own and we are hoping that it resonates with our readers and followers. Having said that, yes, we are the best thing since sliced bread because we are extremely dedicated, passionate and hands-on. We create our own content, visuals and personally interact with our readers to engage them. And we write about our personal experiences in an honest way.
Who is your hero in the business – the one that you aspire to be?
I am inspired by so many people and that includes my two girls, aged thirteen and eight years! I believe that everybody has something unique that one can learn from and I try to appreciate these and note them down (although my husband believes that I am very stubborn and not open to others’ ideas). While growing up, the travel opportunities I have got, courtesy my bureaucrat father, have opened my eyes to a different world altogether. That probably sow the seeds of my passion for travelling and meeting new people. My mum’s yearning for a musical career and her dedication in pursuing higher studies at a very late stage of her life, my mum-in-law’s passion for cooking and optimism in life, my fashion designer brother’s talent in spotting quirky and arty stuff from random corners of life, my hubby’s meticulous planning and organisation skills, my nanny’s quest to perfection in whatever job she has in her hand, Debbie’s tremendous positivity and calmness, advice and wisdom from my inner circle of friends and trusted colleagues in the industry… I find inspiration surrounding me all the time and feel truly blessed for that.
What is your favorite item on your menu and why?
This is the most difficult question of all… how can I pinpoint one favourite item? But what excites me more than the item on the menu is how that was conceptualised or created and if there had been any story, a nostalgic association etc. I am obsessed with street food and can’t get over the fact that there are so many different cuisines in the world that I am yet to explore. I read cookbooks like fiction and can almost taste the ingredients as I read recipes.
What (lessons) have you learnt along the way that you would like to share with other foodpreneurs?
Be sure of why you are doing what you are doing and stick to the vision that you have. Most often, logistics and practicalities won’t support that vision and that is absolutely understandable. You don’t need many clients – you only need that one client who appreciates and values your way of working. And the very crucial thing here is to have a few key people surrounding you who share the same vision and is backing you up 24/7 even if you falter. It’s like a commitment in a relationship – giving up is not an option!
And finally, something not everyone knows about you
I quit the subject Home Science in High School because I hated cooking!