A Recipe Has No Soul, the Chef Must Bring Soul to the Recipe - Ulka Santra

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1.  Tell us about your background and journey 

I stared my journey as a food seller four years ago . Form the childhood I was interested in cooking . I used to cook with my grandmother because my mother never allowed me to do so cause I was very little back then .

2. What led you to take up this career path?

The word hospitality is very common and extremely visible in our Indian house hold . Which I have learned throughout the childhood . And my family and relatives are big foodie and different food background my maternal side is from Bangladesh. And we have all kind of Bengali cuisines in our house.  I grew up with food and hospitality . 

3. What does your typical day looks like?

Every day after waking up the first question I ask to my Maa everyday is what she is cooking today . In free time I mostly like to work and improve my recipes . And specially in this lockdown days mostly we are working to help housewives and students in our city by giving them free  cooking classes and advices about independent life , how they can start something of their own . And students can join the food industry and become a chef or a hotelier . 

4. Does one's approach change when cooking proffesionaly and at home?

The structure and function of professional chefs and homecooks are  undoubtedly different . Professional kitchen and Chef has a lot of rules and regulations to maintain . But the love and passion for cooking is same from both of the sides 

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

I think I can relate myself with every kinds of home-cooked food . As I grew up in a village so I didn't got a lot of chance to go the fancy restaurants . So my Ma and Thakuma ( grandmother ) used make amazing home-cooked food for me .
6. Can cooking be learnt at culinary schools or a natural talent is required?

No to learn cooking you don't need any culinary institute , schools. If look at any well stabilised chef life most them started from the lowest level of kitchen. But to run a professional kitchen training very important .

7. Which is your favorite book and why?

I have a lot of favorite books . I'm a book lover. Anthony Bourdain's 'Atppetites' his 1st book one of my favorite 

- Ulka Santra
Interviewed by- Gurleen Kaur

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