Life Is All About The ‘F’ word!
by Dharmesh Dave
Consulting Associate, Mumbai
The word has passion, fantasy, experimentation and the feeling of immeasurable ecstasy. For many it is a part of life, a ritual to some and ‘relaxation’ to few, but all are craving for better and wider options each day. Yes, you guessed it right - it’s ‘food’! (Only if your horses didn’t run the wrong way). Keeping my food tantrums aside for a while, the F-word is life and passion to me. It is this love for making bizarre food that has kept me a little sane all these years. After all, it is the only bizarre desire that I can perform legally.
It was at the age of six when I started crushing on the art and science of making food, which grew into love with my first experimentation – ‘Shimla Mirch ka Halwa’. Growing up in a family where food is considered as ‘Tehzeeb-O-Tamadun’ (culture and discipline), and any sort of experimentation was supremely discouraged, so was my first kooky trail. And that’s when the ‘Rulebook’ of Kitchen and red flag towards trails were shown. I was back to making daily staples: Roti – Sabzi – Dal – Chawal. While I enjoyed cooking them, I missed the passion of experimenting in the food laboratory. The love for cooking soon diluted... only wishes and hopes to carry on shaping wild thoughts into cuisine remained!
After a break of five odd years, while randomly switching TV channels, I found crazy heads just like me. The love for making wild food got concentrated, very much like 36.8N conc H2SO4! That very night, folks craved for cake and something spicy to go along. Stars were in my favour! I decided to turn my regular kitchen into a cooking laboratory and mix the merry of both the worlds – the sweet and the spice! After spending an hour and a half in the lab, the final product that I extracted was a ‘Green Velvet Cake with Spicy Guava Cream’. Describing nothing, I presented the dish as ‘Green Velvet Cake with White Icing’. And finally, I got to hear what I expecting – “It is weird but nice”. The feeling of euphoria was just exploding like sodium in water.
After the acceptance towards bizarre food, the love grew each day, which led me to go beyond and pursue the passion. Having been a fan of a renowned cooking show, I soon decided to take part in the Season 2 and 3, but only to realise in round 5 that the show required one to hold a script and not a knife. Alas! Well, that’s my side of the coin. Choosing the exit gate was the preference. No regrets!
“Milk curdles, you may either drain it into the sink or make cheese out of it. It’s in your hand” - that is what I say to myself when life throws lemons. Making cheese may take a little time, but it’s definitely worth it! While my cheese is in the making, here I am experimenting on all the crazy rats (prospective customer of my eccentric nosh room) willing to get experimented.
So, this World Food Day put down you guards and pamper your taste buds with something offbeat and alien!