“Fortune favors the prepared mind” that’s the quote Sid Khullar lives by. It’s so true for him as working for 15 years as an engineer he quit his job to follow his passion. Ten years ago, he started Chef at Large (CaL), his food blog which is now one of the largest Indian food networks reaching to at least 20 million people annually. In conversation with BananiVista, Sid Khullar shares his journey and some tips for the new food blog writers.
BV: You were a hard core techie, what attracted you towards the food blogging?
SK: Food is as complex as technology, perhaps more. Any given platter of food represents chemistry, history, socio-economic evolution, nutrition food styling and much more. It is this complexity that attracts me to learn and write food blogs.
BV: What was your wife’s reaction on your change of job? Is she a foodie?
SK: My wife has always, bar none, supported and in fact encouraged all of my quirky interests. She isn’t a foodie per se, though she does enjoy good food.
BV: At Chef At Large, other than food Blogging, what are the services you provide?
SK: At the Chef at Large, we reach out to over 20 million foodies a year and offer engagement services to brands, advertising services for small and home based business in addition to a lineup of health and wellness relate services.
BV: Did you ever think that you would be so successful at blogging when you started ten years back?
SK: Success wasn’t a factor in starting Chef at Large; knowledge and learning was the prime focus then. It is only in the last two years that we have begun shifting towards commercial engagement in order to help sustain the network. To answer your question however, no, the current size and reach of CaL as it stands today is a surprise.
BV: What are the changes you have seen in the Food blogging world in a span of ten years?
SK: The one primary change I have seen is the primary motive. What used to be about the acquisition of knowledge and skill as primary motivators, have now shifted to self gratification and commerce. In short food blog is now a way to be seen and to make money, which by themselves are fine, but ensures most participants don’t really know much about food.
BV: Do you cook at home? Tell us about an instance when you surprised your family with a special dish?
SK: I cook every day, so a single instance would be hard to point out. I cook something new for my daughter each day for lunch so that she can enjoy it when she returns from school and for my wife too when she comes home from office.
BV: Would you like to share some achievements so far?
SK: The knowledge and self awareness gained during this journey in addition to the thousands of people I have met are the achievements that I treasure. The rest, such as an award for Best Food writer etc. are usually politically motivated and mean very little to me.
BV: What advice would you like to give to new people who want to start blogging?
SK: Start for the right reasons and aim for personal excellence.