Know your blogger: Archita Chanda Ray

7:30 AM

Archita Chanda Ray the charming and sophisticated personality behind the blog 'My Food My Life' is a beautiful person inside out. If you ever talk to her you would be blown away with her down to earth attitude and polite nature. The thing that I love most about her is her level headedness. She is one of those rare persons who knows what she is talking about and never boasts her knowledge.

She is a doting mother, an Ex-Banker and leads a busy life running their play school chain. But is an avid cook and a budding food photographer. Her recipes show a great legacy of cooking that she received from her mother. Here is a small excerpt of a chitchat which is a part of the Know your Blogger Series, an initiative by Kolkata Food Bloggers team.  

1. Tell us about yourself
I am a very simple free spirited person for whom family and loved ones matter the most. Thanks to my parents I got the best of education that has definitely made me the person I am. I don't like complications of any kind and value my relationships a lot. I am pretty headstrong too and don't deter from standing up for a cause. Right now my 6 year old son Aadish is my topmost priority and I want to bring him up as a good human being.

2. How did you start cooking?  Your first dish? 
I belong to a food lovers family! Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were great cooks.My mother is the most awesome cook to say the least. My life was however more influenced by my Thammas & Maa's(paternal grandma) style of cooking. From a very young age I was fascinated by the whole affair of cooking and feeding the family with love and care. My maa made sure that hot lunch awaited me when I got back from school , I carried the choicest of tiffins to all that influenced me a lot. My first dish was a Caramel Pudding that I must have made at the age of 9-10.

3. Who is Your biggest inspiration in cooking and how did you start this blog?
My biggest and strongest inspiration is my mother. She is a great cook and has independently made a name for herself back home. She is an entrepreneur and is in the food business for a long time now.
This blog was started after being coaxed by the husband a lot as he felt that I should chronicle my work. Once my son started growing up a bit I found a lot of spare time in hand which I would use for my culinary escapades hence my husband was the one who pushed me into starting a blog and giving a direction to my passion. 

4. You have worked for a long time. How did you manage to balance your work and love for cooking.
To be very honest I did not get time at all. My job in a corporate setup was very  very hectic and I just couldn't give any time to my passion. Occasionally I would however try and cook and take few goodies for my colleagues who were very appreciative.

5. You were brought up in Assam. How did it influence your cooking? what is your favourite Assamese dish? 
The biggest influence of Assamese cuisine on me was to keep things simple. Make the most flavourful dishes with minimal ingredients - that's what their philosophy is. My most favourite Assamese dish has to be the 'Masor Tenga" - that a tangy very light fish curry.

6. What in your opinion are the pros and cons of food blogging?
The pros are more than the cons I would say. The best pro is that you can connect with people - fellow bloggers, general readers who like your work and learn a lot. The con happens when you start getting too competitive and forget to enjoy your work.

7. Tell us about your reader interactions. Any memorable incidents? 
My blog is very new - just a year old so am getting there. Now a days a lot of interactions are happening on different forums and that surely boosts up the spirit to do better. I am still waiting for that one memorable incident. 

8. Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
I hope to become an entrepreneur in the next 5 years. Hopefully a café or a specialty restaurant of my own. Apart from that also want to start a baking/cooking class for kids in the near future.
Thank you Sayantani for this opportunity. I enjoyed it.

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