Abhishek Rimal - You Need to Make Sure You Make Good Decisions, Be Confident in What You Demand and What You Can Provide


Talking about my journey as a food blogger on Instagram, creating a page was more of an epiphany rather than a gradual process. I remember it was early 2017 where I had this realization after seeing a certain blogger's Instagram page that I could post food pictures too. I had an abundance of those in my gallery from the times I would go out every single week. 


1. Please tell us about your background and journey.


My birth name is Abhishek Rimal, but I go by foods.nepal on Instagram which is sort of like a brand that I'm building for the past 4 years now. I reside in Kathmandu with a family of six, including my dog who is more like my son. I love him to death.

Talking about my journey as a food blogger on Instagram, creating a page was more of an epiphany rather than a gradual process. I remember it was early 2017 where I had this realization after seeing a certain blogger's Instagram page that I could post food pictures too. I had an abundance of those in my gallery from the times I would go out every single week. 

So I started posting pictures, trying hard to remember the taste and writing reviews every single day. It became like a daily routine. Then, I moved on to recipes because I used to cook at home all the time and my mom had the best recipes for everything. I finally found an outlet where I could showcase my love for food, and connect with so many people in the community. And the rest is history!


2. Which is your favourite cuisine and dish?

I get asked this all the time, and my answer is always the same - I don't have a favorite cuisine or a dish. Every cuisine is distinct and the dishes that fall under those cuisines have a life of their own. If I'm being honest, it really depends on my mood. But if I really have to choose one, I think Newari Cuisine will top the list for sure. Korean comes a close second, then comes Thai.

Everything about Newari Cuisine is heaven. Being born into a Brahmin family, I'm restricted from devouring any meat beyond Chicken, Fish and Goat. But Newari Cuisine has an abundance of Buffalo Meat and the items they make out of it. There's like 20 different varieties of dishes that they make out of each part of the animal. 

It's almost as if they're respecting the dead animal enough to not waste any body part. Out of those dishes, Buffalo Chhoila, which is basically spiced buffalo meat has to be my favorite. Apart from this cuisine, I'm drawn towards Korean food and it's flavor profile. Pork is my favorite thing to eat and most of the Korean food has pork in it. And when it comes to Thai cuisine, there's no way I'm backing out. That combination of lemongrass and coconut milk that they use in almost anything is just insane.


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

It can definitely become a career if you have the drive for it. Personally, it started out as nothing but a hobby but now I have found a new direction that can potentially lead me to make this a full time job. But I'm very much adamant about keeping this as a side hustle while I focus on my studies. 

If you look into the lives of top food influencers of Nepal like Mr.Foodie Nepal and of India like ZingyZest, they have made it into a full time job. The world is seeing more content creaters, and they're all making good amount of money through what they do so passionately. You'll be approached by brands after crossing a certain amount of followers. 

You need to make sure you make good decisions, be confident in what you demand and what you can provide, and work with what comes your way. So yes, if you have the determination of making something out of yourself through your blog, if you have original ideas that you can execute, if you can successfully captivate people's attention towards what you do, then it can definitely turn into a full time career.


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

I'm such a local food lover that I will always choose local eateries over fancier ones. If you're like me and have an immense amount of love and respect for culturally passed down cuisines, then I will recommend Patan or Kirtipur area for Newari Cuisine. 

You will find the best newari eateries there that have been around for generations. Apart from that, you'll find pretty good restaurants around Jhamsikhel, Thamel and Durbarmarg area.


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

For me to appreciate a dish, it needs to have a good flavor profile. I look for the visual appeal, then for the taste and texture and then how it makes me feel afterwards. I look for creativity because people want to try new things all the time. When it comes to restaurants, food should definitely be the top priority but ambiance and the service should matter as well. 

Having said that, I have fallen in love with local eateries that are run by two people standing behind a gas stove, inside a rustic looking room, and cooking all day for hungry customers. When the food alone touches me to the core, and the homely atmosphere that they create, I think is what makes me appreciate the place more.


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

As I was reading this question, I asked myself "What dish do I heavily associate myself with?" and the answer is "Chatpatey" for sure. It is basically rice puffs mixed with crushed instant noodles and all these different spices, and cut up veggies like onions, tomatoes, peas, chillies, lemon juice and so on. 

It's quite a snack and loved by every Nepali. And the reason why I associate myself with this is because I have been posting a wide variety of Chatpatey recipes on my insta page. Among all the recipes I post, Chatpatey one goes viral the most. I've tried adding mushroom, dry meat, soya chunks, sausages - just a bunch of crazy experiments. And people actually love it. They do try the recipes that I post and tell me how much they love it. It's the best feeling ever.


7. Which is your favourite book and why?

I wouldn't call myself an avid reader but I have read quite a few good books. But, will it be awfully cheesy of me to say that my favourite ones are recipe books? I want to become a recipe developer so I read recipe books all the time. Whether it's articles, or books or even YouTube/Netflix videos, I try to stuff my brain with as much food knowledge as possible. 

My favourite one is Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson. I have grown up watching her cook on TV, and got her two recipe books as a gift from a loved one. Everything she writes there is a work of art. She explains food like nobody else can. And her recipes are so simple yet so packed with flavour. It's definitely my favourite book!


- Interviewed by - Pratika Dahal 

Post a comment

0 Comments