Know your Bloggers: Antara Ray of Antipasti9:31 PM
Antara Ray is the face behind the fun and charming blog Antipasti. If you have ever visited the Chef at large Facebook page, you must have seen her as an enthusiastic foodie and moderator. Recently as a part of Chef at Large: Bloggers table member, I met her on a personal level and found her as much bubbly and adventurous as her food blog.
By Profession she is an Environment consultant and juggles a hectic work schedule and recently married home front. She writes beautifully and all her write ups (which she calls banters) are backed by great in depth knowledge about food and culture. This pretty jovial woman is an excellent cook and experiments in her kitchen to whip up quick delicious meals on busy weeknights. I love her way of cooking which is quick, Delish and so full of flavour and taste.
Here is a small excerpt from our little chitchat. Hope you will enjoy reading about her food journey so far.
1. Let us know a brief about yourself.
I'm an ordinary working girl who desperately seeks to avoid being sucked into the corporate rat race and the kitchen is my best diversion that gives me some solace. I lead the unpredictable life of a consultant, traveling at a day's notice and not knowing where I will be the next day or week. Although I detested these frequent travels initially, eventually I adapted to it. Now I try to make the most of my tours, checking out places, local food, nature etc. Like they say if rape is inevitable you might as well enjoy it. So there, work, food and traveling pretty much sums up my life.
2. how did you get attracted to cooking and what was your first dish.
Cooking for both me and my brother happened out of curiosity as kids more so because our folks forbade us to go near the gas. So when the cats were out the mice would play. But it took a serious turn when I started living alone in another city. When I stayed in a hostel I sneaked in a cooker and frying pan in my room and often made khichdi or shedhhi bhaat and chicken fry over room heating coils. Eventually I moved into a flat with an independent kitchen that I equipped with an induction cook top, a microwave and electric oven and was the happiest woman on earth.
3. who has been your biggest influence.
There I missed home a lot so I started cooking hard core bong food taking telephonic instructions from mom. That was how I fell in love with cooking
Biggest influence is my mom. As kids have always seen her making a variety of dishes everyday hardly ever repeating any. She picked up recipes from wherever we moved as a family. Dad had a transferable job. Thanks to which we now have quite a varied palate
4. How did you start your blog
I used to blog on anecdotes from life in general and never intended to start a food blog. It was Sid khullar of chef at large who coaxed me into starting one so that I could add to interesting company at the bloggers table.
5. which aspect of food blogging you love the most.
I had started it as a mere documentation exercise. But now I just love thinking up a new recipe and putting it up on the blog so that I can read it later. Yes it feels awesome when readers appreciate but I really write for myself.
Except of course for reviews which are intended for public good.
6. how important for a blogger to interact with their readers? any funny incident so far.
For a long time I used to believe in anonymity for the freedom it brought with it. My personal anonymous blog was extremely popular at one point because people said they found it funny. Even then I wrote for myself although it was always nice to know I made people smile. The fun of anonymity has somewhat been diluted thanks to social networking. But even now i try my best to keep personal acquaintances
away from my blog. I won't be able to write about them on the blog then. Of course the husband checks it once in a while and tells me' what's this picture of a finicky hog that you keep painting of me to your readers' ?
7. what are the things that you like and dislikes about the food blogosphere
What I like about food blogosphere is that there is so much to learn. What I dislike is the opportunism and blatant self propaganda bloggers often resort to, perhaps because of cut throat competition. Honesty makes way for fake attention seeking in these cases and it turns me off.
8. where do you see yourself in next 5 years
In the kitchen