I like cooking. In fact the very first prize in my life which I received in kindergarten was for cooking (पाकशास्त्र). I had made, actually helped my teacher make, दडपे पोहे (Dadpe Pohe). And the prize I had received in the Annual Day function was a hanger . Yes, my school was famous for giving such totally mindless and irrelevant and demotivating awards/gifts to kids and kill innovation at nascent stage. Probably they wanted me to stay away from cooking. But I didn’t!
My interest in cooking continued, though at very slow pace. It was only when I started my career and went abroad that I got plenty of opportunities for cooking (at home my mom wouldn’t let me hover around kitchen!). And cooking became a valuable asset while staying with my flatmates! They would happily cut vegetables and clean utensils only to get a decent meal.
Though I liked cooking I never followed cookery shows – until 2007. Then while studying in the UK my flatmate Ajay (who was a foodie who could not cook!) introduced me to Gordon Ramsay – the celebrity chef! He showed me few episodes of his show and I was hooked on to them. Gordon’s was not a cookery shows, it was a reality show on “food business”, and I really liked the concept and the way Gordon conducted (except the F-word barrage).
The very first episode I watched was about a vegetarian restaurant in France. Since I am a vegetarian, my friend Ajay thought that I should get started with that episode. I am not able to find that episode. But here is one on an Indian restaurant which I liked a lot:
Recently I came across a sort of documentary featuring Gordon Ramsay on Indian cuisines. It’s really engaging 3 part series. It shows how an outsider (Gordon) looks at India and what fascinates him. Here it is:
As I said, his show is not about cookery – how to cook. It is about how to run a restaurant business. There are so many things to learn from the show. After having completed MBA and more importantly after having got a first-hand experience of running a (mock) food stall, I was able to relate with Gordon’s show far better; and only then I realized all the great nuances of his show.
I have been thinking about my experience with food stall at IIM-A and the lessons in Marketing. It was a great experience for me, because the more I think about it the more learning I can gather. A day spent on such activities is far valuable than a week spent in classroom analyzing the “case studies”.
OK, then let’s call my Food stall experience a “case study” in Marketing/Entrepreneurship. I will write about it in detail in my next blog. Meanwhile, do watch Gordon’s shows posted above.