"I Strongly Believe Food Is My Ikigai" - Karan Marwah

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Educationally I'm an Economics Hons. Graduate. But I had entered the world of Social Media and digital marketing in the 2nd year of college. It was something that I sustained along with the academics. Long before that, I had understood food was my passion. 

While everyone my age used to be engrossed in teenage drama and reality shows on TV, I was always found binging on Food and Travel TV Shows. And if not watching food on television, I was found eating it (food, not the television :p). 

My love for food and my experience with Social Media led me to found FOODelhi.in in March 2015. Since then, I've been a food content creator and a social media strategist.

2. Which is your favourite cuisine and dish?

For me, there is a contest between North Indian and All-American. This is, food lover's dilemma, our love for food transcends the concept of cuisines and borders. My favourite dish, Butter Chicken (you were expecting something fancier right? ;) But it is what it is, my soul food is a combo of crisp garlic naan and a rich, chunky butter chicken with a hint of smokiness.

3. Should food blogging be just a passion or can it become a regular career?

If you'd asked me this question 4 years ago, I would've said it is just a hobby. But today, even though the country is saturated with food bloggers and content creators, as a career path blogging is something that is definitely emerging out to be a viable full-time profession. 

In coming years it would only grow in that aspect. Having said that, there is still a lot to be done and achieved in this industry to make it a sure-shot money-making career. Yes, we are in a much better place than before, but it needs to be evolved a lot more.

4. Which restaurants/food joints would you recommend to food lovers?

There is a world of food and beverage in our country and this question is very difficult to answer without the specifics of location, cuisine, category, budget and more. There can be a momo-seller in a local market who'd be serving insane momos, fabulous enough for me to recommend them to you.

Then there can also be f&b property in a 5-star hotel that could be doing the finest Cantonese style dim sum. So yes, there is something good at every nook and corner and it just needs to be discovered.

5. What makes you appreciate a particular dish or a restaurant and talk about it on your blog?

I am a strong believer of the importance of love and passion being the main ingredient in a dish. Sometimes, more than the food itself, the story attached to it or to the maker or to the place serving it adds so much to the experience. I scout for such stories and the food automatically becomes a part by playing the medium of telling that story. 

Today, some of the most passionate chefs, entrepreneurs and visionaries are driving the F&B industry regardless of their backgrounds just because their passion and zeal complement their skills and their food tells their story. And of course, it has to taste good :P Which it does if it is made with passion, love and experience.

6. Is there a dish you particularly associate yourself with?

I've never been asked this question and now it makes me think what is that one dish I eat the most because they say you're what you eat. Oh, then I'm momos. :P

7. Which is your favourite book and why?

I love reading Travelogues but I recently discovered Ikigai: The secret to a long and happy life. It is a Japanese concept and translates into 'a reason for being'. The book talks about the importance of having something to live for. It also gives you examples of Japanese craftsmen who are so attached to their passion, be it making Sushi or Anime that they sometimes continue working till their last breath. 

For long and happy life, you need to love your work and also work in a profession that makes you happy. I strongly believe food is my Ikigai but at the same time, the book teaches you the role of eating healthy and exercise. There is a slight conflict here but I'm sure I'll work it out. P.S. I am an advocate of balance in life. I eat very little of what I enjoy and I also balance it out by working out frequently if not daily. The process helps me enjoy my food even more.

Interview by - Kriti

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