Crave Cook Click Women’s Day Celebration 2017: Meet Anagha Godbole of Saffron Touch-Master Chef India 5 Semi Finalist
Passion..A very strong emotion which brings out the inner fire to excel at something, love something or someone unconditionally, work tirelessly to pursue and excel at it till infinity.
But many times in life we let it go and the reasons can be multiple. You think about the life practicalities, responsibilities, circumstances and that’s totally justified.
Today on the occasion of International Women’s Day, I am going to introduce you to someone who didn’t let the full time profession, family responsibilities or circumstances kill the passion but managed it well and excelled remarkably at it .
Meet Anagha Godbole, a Senior Product Manager at Xoom in San Francisco who pursued her passion for cooking and was one of the semi finalist in MasterChef India 2016. She was applauded for her creativity at the show by all the elite judges, adored by her co-participants and is all set to achieve new heights in the arena of culinary world.
So Anagha please tell us about your journey in Master Chef India. How did it all start?
It all started by chance. A friend of mine pushed me to audition, I almost did not go that day. But finally I did, and there started my MC journey
What challenges did you face at the show? How did you overcome them?
The challenges were many but I enjoyed tackling them all. It was tough being away from the family, so phones and chats were crucial for me to stay connected.
I was also working on my Paypal job 2 out of 4 months that I was in Mumbai, which meant shooting during the day and working at night. I leaned in on my colleagues, I would bring my laptop even to the studio to finish some of my work.
Challenges with cooking were quite interesting. I have lived out of India for over 20 years, so although I am very versed with the Indian cuisine across India, cooking in a Indian Kitchen was certainly a challenge.
Which was your best moment at the show?
There were many special moments but some stand out more than the others.
When I decided to give up my safety for the week to come and help a fellow contestant, the whole set of 200 people applauded for me. Chef Kunal said, you are not only a good cook but a great human being. I felt very touched
When Chef Atul Kochar ( the first Indian chef to get his Michelin Star) said to me that he was betting on me being finals and is disappointed that I am not in there, it was a quite a validation that he thought I could be the one.
Chef Vikas said that out of all seasons of Master Chef India, I am the contestant that has the best command of flavors and know how to blend different cuisines well
What was your biggest take-away from Master Chef India?
As cliched as it sounds, the first thing that comes to mind is “ Don’t hesitate to take chances and follow your heart.” I did not know how far I would go when I started this journey, each time I cooked I did exactly that.
I also feel that one can not forget where they come from.I feel one can not make progress without a strong link to your heritage. I take inspiration from many cuisines around the world but I don’t forget my Indian roots. I used it extensively in the competition as well.
So stay true to your roots and passion is my takeaway
Are you passionate about cooking since beginning or it evolved gradually?
I have always been passionate about eating hence the passion for cooking was inevitable I suppose. I did not cook till I got married and came to the USA, but I have always eaten delicious food since my mom is an amazing cook. So when I came to the US the only option to eat those dishes was to cook them myself. So started my cooking journey.
I cooked and family loved it which encouraged me to do more.
I am so lucky to be in a place like California where I am exposed to so many diverse cuisines, and I love bringing those in my cooking as well.
Cooking is an art and science. How did you learn the craft and excelled at it? Any tips for the readers?
It is mostly self taught. I get inspiration from many sources, but I try those and make them in my style. I try a lot of foods, and love bring it in my recipes.
I get excited to go to the farmers market. I only cook with what’s in season so vegetables are my inspiration to make different things
I love going to different ethnic markets, bring new ingredients and see how I can use them in recipe.
And by the way, I love to paint as well
You are passionate not only about cooking, but you also teach BombayJam, work full time and are a wife and mom of two teenagers. How do you manage time?
LOL, I am one of those hyperactive people I guess.
I love working out ( and I think it’s needed because I eat so much ). I firmly believe that everyone can make time for what they love to do but it needs planning. I am an engineer and think logically so I plan excessively. I make lists, use reminders, and I meditate every morning, it keeps me stay focused.
My husband and kids make it easy for me, they keep me grounded and put up with all the craziness to life .
I am truly blessed to have the most wonderful kids in the world. No tantrums, no attitude, they love to eat diverse things, love to try the stuff I make and even cook with me.
Who are your biggest pillars of strength?
My husband and Kids, my parents & siblings.
What are your plans for future?
Now that’s a million dollar question, answer to which is not certain for now but is evolving. It will focus on food for sure. It will be selective, it will be simple and yet hope it touches many people.
What advice would you give your followers who would want to pursue their passion for cooking?
As I said earlier, don’t hesitate to take chances. Food is universal and hence provides great opportunities to everyone.
Don’t hesitate to put yourself out there, so what if you fail .
Which is your favorite dish which you can eat at any hour?
Jowar Bhakri and loni, I can eat it anytime.
Please share your favorite recipe with our readers.
If you want to know more about Anagha’s journey..please follow her on the below mentioned social media handles
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