My earliest cooking memories started even before I held a knife. Even before I remember what my age was, I don’t think I could possibly remember how old I was or how mature my eating habits were , but that ride on the back of my Father’s motorcycle to the Sunday wet market was one of the moments. We would get fresh produce and create a menu that we would cook together and this became one of my fondest memories of childhood. I was always caught stealing food from the pots while dishes were cooking. I would dip pieces of bread into simmering curries and this simple act created such fond memories of food.

The first thing I ever cooked was instant noodles when I was six or seven years old. I cried after cooking it because it didn’t look like the picture on the packaging. I grew up cooking with my parents, eating home cooked food with conversations around the dinner table and discussions of menus and dishes to be cooked and served at celebrations and festivities. Thank god cooking is not work, but rather an act of love and affection from you to your loved ones.

I always wanted to be a musician. I dreamt of being a professional drummer in a band, but one day, as a teenager, I realized that my economical situation would never improve pursuing my dream as a musician, so I went to the next thing I knew best, which was cooking. I was admitted to IHMCT Kovalam in 1997, about as far away from home as one could be, and I never looked back. I never saw a horizon without the view of a kitchen with it. I remember my first cooking instructor recognizing raw talent in me. He observed as I cooked glazed carrots, caramel pudding, bread rolls, steak, mashed potatoes and beans, I remember it like it was yesterday. Since then, life has been a complete rollercoaster ride of a journey.

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