How many of you remember your first day in the kitchen ? And several attempts at trying cold coffee to a burnt toast to cutting your fingers while chopping to losing the count of pressure cooker whistles. And then the exclamations that followed every time you were in the kitchen - the ‘oh my Gods’ and ‘oh NO’ followed by ‘Mummy HELP please?’ to “ordering food from outside, because experiment was not exactly a ‘super success’’.
Oh some of you were smarter & richer than me… in your younger days, you went to learn cooking classes or bought a Tarla Dalal recipe book to figure out the art & science of cooking. But most times your cakes didn’t rise, and you invariably would have burnt the daal.
My first day in the kitchen unfortunately was not with my mom but with my Late Mother in law. I know what you are thinking… no my cooking has nothing to do with her not being alive. But though I sometimes can’t stop wondering how she would have felt had she seen me doing Meghna’s Food Magic on YouTube. Ladies & Gentleman, my first day in the kitchen, I almost blew up the entire kitchen simply because I didn’t know you have to put water of the quantity of rice. Pressure cooker did blast and the daal & rice is still stuck on the ceiling as we speak.. they just left it as a reminder - a taana from saans baht saga. But ‘daagh acche hai’.
Why am I saying this… what has this got to do with today’s theme ! well actually NOTHING. I was just making sure that you don’t figure out how nervous I am in the presence of such big names around me.
Let’s switch the gears… and let me take you to my experiences of working in the professional kitchens. Coming from a banking background, working for likes of Mr. Uday Kotak & few other seniors in ICICI Lombard, the kind of highly organised world, life that worked with clock-ticking precision, I landed up in bakery kitchens & college teachers where it was totally opposite… I realised there were NO RULES. Can you imagine how scary all that is when you suddenly ask yourself will I really eat this food if I’m on the customer consuming this food?
How sure are you that when you’re ordering an eggless cake, you’re indeed getting one?
When someone says this is a brown bread, is it indeed a wheat bread or just a bread with brown color?
The vegetables that we are told are fresh, are they really fresh?
How beautifully food/ cake shops showcase the food items in show windows, do they really cook with the same love & care?
Do they wash their hands ? Are they using the used oil again for frying? Is the kitchen really clean?
Unfortunately, I have seen with my very own eyes that came to conclusion that in general a lot of people don’t like to follow rules.