Cooking Professionally Is a Different Ball Game Altogether - Chef Ankita Chakravarty

Ankita Chakravarty

Masterchef India season 1 happened when I was 19 while doing my Hons. in psychology. I realized during Masterchef that food media is a new & upcoming platform that utilizes psychology in every aspect! This is what I wanted to do. Make a new field, a new path. Psychologist Chef. 

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Hi! I’m Ankita Chakravarty! I am a Chef, with my own little bakery called “Chefie Bakes”! I started my food journey when I was 13. Coming from a restaurant & catering business family, it was in my genes perhaps! 

Masterchef India season 1 happened when I was 19 while doing my Hons. in psychology. I realized during Masterchef that food media is a new & upcoming platform that utilizes psychology in every aspect! This is what I wanted to do. Make a new field, a new path. Psychologist Chef. 

So after finishing my Masters's Degree, I came to Mumbai & started working at Chef Sanjeev Kapoor Pvt Ltd. wherein my journey with direction as well as hosting food & travel shows began! I worked for Living Foodz, then moved on to freelancing as a Culinary Consultant and Director! 

Having have worked with Chefs like Maria Goreti, Sanjeev Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, Ranveer Brar, Rocky & Mayur to name a few, the journey has been fun & fulfilling! I trained professionally in pastry arts, last year under Chef Bhaveshsom at Richs India & it has opened new doors in the field of food for me!

Other than that I’ve dipped my hands in Bollywood too! My highest point as a director was definitely working with Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor & Nawazuddin Siddiqui!! So its a lot happening!!


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

I believe that we can all wear multiple hats. But society & people will make you feel, that you have to limit yourself and fit a box. Do only one thing. Be good at one thing only! Everything else is just a hobby. I didn’t agree! 

I decided to pair Psychology with Food and Media and here I am today! When I talk to people & share my story, somewhere they get reassurance, that if you’re good at what you do, you can do anything. And that perhaps led me to make my own path and career! I refused to be boxed.

3. What does your typical day look like?

Ahhh! They say dawn is for bakers and lovers. I want to add to it! Dawn is for bakers, lovers, and directors! Nowadays, amidst the pandemic & lockdown, my day begins early and ends late. I sometimes bake from 2 in the morning till 5. Then sleep for a few hours and start at 10 again. 

There are muffins, pies & cakes to bake, RnD on new recipes to be done, personal notes to be written for every box that goes out. As a recipe content creator and producer, there are client calls to be made, budgets to be sent, videos to be made for my own Instagram account, and a lot of tea, to keep myself functional!

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

I would say “Most definitely”! When you are cooking at home, the things that matter are what is available, how much time you have, what are you in the mood for, and how many utensils do you wish to dirty! The taste may change from time to time, quantities may vary, but as long as it’s tasty, it’s all good!

Cooking professionally is a different ball game altogether. Everything is measured and done to the T. Every plate of food or order is money. And the most important thing is having consistency in terms of flavors every time, each time is crucial. 

While baking, even the weight of the product can’t change too much, leave alone the taste. At home, these rules don’t apply! So while both are cooking/baking & done with love but the dynamics are very different!

Ankita Chakravarty

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

Cakes!!
As a child, especially in winters, our fridge always had cake. I loved eating them. It’s layered, filled with goodness, and is a celebration every time. You can dress them pretty or leave them just the way it is. It’ll still always taste good. 

I think I associate myself with cakes. I can create something new & unique every time. And that’s just pure bliss.

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

Cooking is a skill and can definitely be acquired at schools. However, having a natural talent will give you an added advantage, a flair. Having had said that I do believe you can definitely learn how to cook!

7. Which is your favourite book and why?

Honestly! My favorite book to date is the Harry Potter Series! I have read them 7 times each & consider myself a Harry Potter OG. Everything about it was magical and growing up, to binge-watch the movies has become a Christmas tradition! Who can forget the feasts in the big hall and butterbeer? Take me there!!

Interview by - Suhani Mangleek

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4 Comments

  1. This seems like such an honest interview.

    Despite putting in years of hard work you definitely make it sound easy.

    Best of luck, keep baking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the journey has not been easy but it’s been exciting! Thank you ❤️

      Delete
  2. Nice interview Ankita. Loved reading each and every line ❤. We all can relate. I think this is your uniqueness that the way you put your words everyone can associate with it. And at last I am also a big fan of Harry Potter. I always love to watch the movies 🍺🍺🍺

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for such kind words ❤️ And yea Harry Potter is the best ��

    ReplyDelete
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