Willingness to Learn Is a Must in Any Profession - Ankit Mishra

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Hey, I am Ankit Mishra. I am a hospitality student from Institute Of Hotel Management, Hyderabad and my hometown is Nagpur, Maharashtra. My love for baking and being always around the kitchen took me where I am right now. I was always fascinated with pressure cookers in my childhood, I used to play with it for hours like a toy. 

I started baking at a very young age, although my bakes used to be disastrous but I never gave up. There was some kind of excitement even in the failed attempts. Television shows were my first source of knowledge and they kept me going. I attempted every possible recipe I could imagine.

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

My love for baking took me to choose this as a career. In a family full of engineers there was me who wanted to become a chef. There was a strong sup

port from my parents and they always wanted me to do something which I would love doing throughout my life. Baking has always been a welcome creative release for me, and I’m blessed I can call it my career.

3.What does your typical day looks like?

This pandemic has totally changed my whole schedule which I used to follow during my college days, but I made sure that I make most of this time. On April 5th I started my baking blog, since then my morning starts with an idea to bake something new and share it on my blog. 

Ideas are easy to get, but the main challenge is to execute it, hard work pays off when you get on a plate what you have imagined in the morning. My favorite part is food styling, I thoroughly enjoy the process of making my food look aesthetic. 

As celebrity chef Gary Mehigan once said, "first you taste food with your eyes", so I make sure that it looks appealing and pleasing to your eyes. Although I am not very good at photography, I still manage to click the best possible pics of my food and then post it. Now, since my classes have started so my days are, bit tiring but as I said earlier baking always excites me so I enjoy being tired.

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

Yes, definitely. Professional cooking is more about technicality and learning how to sell your product like an entrepreneur. On the other hand, home cooking is more about cooking with love, passion, tradition and in your comfort zone. Although, when you achieve the balance between both of them your food will be a super-hit.

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

Indian sweets are something which are very close to my heart, I love the simplicity of Indian sweets. Every sweet has one unique technique which makes it stand out, isn't that interesting? Although cakes and pastries are my love, but Indian sweets are my roots. 

I love trying different halwai recipes at home and the most amazing part of it is my grandmother and my mother helping me in the kitchen, they not only teach me the recipe but also lots of life lessons are taught while making delightful gulab jamuns.

6.Can cooking be learnt at culinary schools or a natural talent is required?

Willingness to learn is a must in any profession. You need not to be a pro in cooking, but if you are interested in it then a culinary school will help you cultivate your amateur skills into professional one's. If you are willing to make a career in the food industry then professional learning is a better option as it teaches you inside out of the Industry and it also gives a direction to your skills.

7.Which is your favorite book and why?

I am not an avid reader. There are lots of cookbooks which I love and they have helped me to gain a lot of knowledge about breads, cakes and pastries. I love to read autobiographies. 
"Dare to Dream: The Life of M.S. Oberoi" is a must read.

One book which is my absolute favorite is IKIGAI, this is a simple Japanese concept which tells you to remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounded by the people you love.

- Ankit Mishra

- Interview by - Chamanth Krishna

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