Today’s interview comes all the way from Hyderabad and is brought to us by Raghavendra Peddi, popular as the Food Shaukeen. I love his Insta feed; beware if you are going to head straightaway to his insta feed, make sure you aren’t hungry. Because the Food Shaukeen’s Instagram page is going to make you even hungrier!! Let’s get to know his journey as Food Shaukeen.
Tell us about yourself.
Raghavendra Peddi. People call me Raghav or by my last name. I’m a techie, a jeweller and a blogger and plan to enjoy my every meal, possibly a brew thing every day.
How did you become passionate about food?
My family is a vegetarian and my mom used to cook delicious dishes (mostly Telangana cuisine, spicy in nature) almost every other day. My interest on food started right at home and when I moved to City for my higher studies, I’ve found my love for the non-veg and in a city like Hyderabad – you are sure to enjoy Biryani. I used to try biryanis at different joints across the city and stuck only to biryani in my initial days. Slowly, but steadily when I got a better company (with a similar mindset), I have started enjoying different cuisines. From then till now, haven’t stopped anytime to experiment with different cuisines and my love for food only grows day by day.
Have you stayed in any other country? How were your food experiences there?
I’ve stayed in the UK for a brief time but my short stint and busy work schedule did not allow me with much exploring around.
What’s the story behind starting Food Shaukeen?
I’ve always loved sharing my food experiences with my friends (and they used to appreciate my way of explanation) and for the same reason, many of my friends used to reach out to me for suggestions before they visit. This urged me to put my experiences in a blog so that many such people can take a leaf from my experience which can better help them to choose between places. This was my start to blog – “FOODSHAUKEEN”. However, due to my novice knowledge of blogs, in the beginning, I’ve stuck to my old created blog “www.peddi888.wordpress.com” and haven’t migrated after that as it’s linked to zomato. My Facebook and Instagram profile pages, however, are under the name: foodshaukeen.
What is your favourite food memory?
Every visit to a different place creates a beautiful memory for me. But if you ask me the best of the lot, it will be the day when I sneakily went into my friend’s home and had chicken biryani for the first time in my life.
How do you get your inspiration?
While sharing experiences is something that is natural to me, I get inspired to write better blogs reading different experiences from different people in food forums (many foodie-only groups on Facebook).
What has enabled you to find success?
The day I’ll yield to success will be a break to my creativity is what I think. Hence, I never think of myself as a successful blogger or as a person and I see a scope of improvement every other day.
Who in the food world do you most admire?
Every foodie/blogger is a new story to me. I take inspiration from everyone and admire every other foodie who enjoys their food and food only.
What do you find new and exciting about the food industry?
Food has endless possibilities. When you think you can’t make any more dishes with a particular item, a new thing comes up next day. In this fast growing world, I get to see new restaurants (with new themes) and new dishes almost every other month. Such things will not only invite a foodie, but also a person who goes out occasionally!
The Biggest Challenges you faced while putting up your blog?
Reaching out to more audience and making a better and readable design are one of the biggest challenges. I’ve linked my blog to Zomato and post my blog in Facebook foodie groups so it reaches out to people with common interests. Also, microblogging in the name of Instagram has made things much easier but the same made people lose interest in reading blogs as before.
What keeps you going?
My love for food and sharing experiences.
What is your day like?
Working out soon after I wake up (A MUST! If I have to keep my passion going). Play with my kid and spend some time with my family before I head out to work. Look out for something new in food post work, if time permits (I try and explore new joints/new cuisines/new dishes at least twice to thrice a week) I’m a big fan of action/Sci-fi series which I tend to watch before I sleep or pen down my experiences if I have visited any new places.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Very soon, I’m planning to visit different cities across India and try local specialities. As and when budget permits, I shall plan few international trips with which not only my love for food exploring will be satisfied but also my interest in visiting and exploring new cities.
What do you most love about your work?
If it’s about my paying work job that you are asking, that would be the work-life balance. I have enough flexibility every now and then to go out for a quick lunch or leave early for a dinner from my office. Work is important and not time!
A recipe that you would want the entire world to know.
Biryani, of course.
What do you do for fun?
I play cricket with my friends, watch movies and play with my kid.
If you had just one wish, what would it be?
That every person in this world should not sleep with a hungry stomach.
Best piece of advice you would give a food enthusiast?
Follow your love/passion for food sans monetary benefits. The number of followers will not define you, but your content will.
Sharing a few pics from The Food Shaukeen’s Insta feed….
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