Meet Our Gustasi Champs
HOME COOK POOJA BANERJEE
Journey this far!
From Lucknow | MBA in HR
Now a 4.8/5 star rated chef on Mealtango (now Dial-a-Meal)
I am COOK POOJA BANERJEE, I started catering for small parties & get-togethers. Just out of the blue I set up an FSSAI certified home-based cloud kitchen named ‘Berozgar Bawarchi’ in August 2019.
It was overly exciting when I soon became a 4.8/5 star rated chef on Mealtango (now Dial-a-Meal), which was launched for marketing home-cooked food from home-chefs!
On Coping with Challenges
Meat based dishes / Multitasking with her 2-year-old
Whenever I get a non-veg order from any old client, that order is often the most challenging project because one needs to hit the right degree of spices & tenderness in the Chicken/Mutton. If you over-do it, the meat can potentially become disfigured and if you fail to make it tender enough then the customer might have a hard time chewing it (the majority of geriatric clients have dental issues).
Above all, my biggest challenge is to cook alongside my 2.5-year-old boy with whom my every moment becomes a multi-tasking moment!
It is rightly said “It is not the Ride, but the Rider that really matters!” You may have the best of ingredients, but it may all prove quite ordinary in the end if you do not know the right way to cook – the right technique! I learnt this quite early in my life that there are no shortcuts to a Great Recipe!
While doing any Non-Veg dish, I love to marinate it separately for different recipes so that the meat allows the spices and flavour to seep in it. In some dishes, I like braising which keeps the meat juicy & hastens the cooking process to some extent. Lastly, I just love the process of Slow Cooking / Simmering which can potentially give a totally different flavour and taste to a dish cooked in the normal manner!
My signature dishes would include Bengali cuisines, Fruit Custard, Egg-Mayo Sandwich, Aloo Paratha, Egg & Chicken Curry, Dilkhush Paneer & ‘Maccher Jhaal’ (fish in mustard gravy- Bengali style).
Born and brought up in a food-lover family, I was naturally inclined towards good food! My aunt ‘Pidu’ (my father’s sister) – one of the finest Chefs I have ever known, introduced me & my sister to the art of cooking. I later went on to start my home-based cloud kitchen and my sister is now a well-known food influencer on Instagram!
The Bengali dishes like Doodh Lau, Aloo Posto, Dimer-Dalna & Maccher jhaal I used to make from the very beginning, but these became my speciality later on after getting married to a bong foodie husband who is passionate about cooking! I have, since then, loved to experiment a lot with different cuisines and styles. Today, I have repeat-customers who appreciate my North India, Bengali, Italian & American veg & non-veg dishes. Every business owner loves to have a ‘connect’ with his customer, which happens when the customer gets what he is looking for, and I have known now that nothing connects more eternally than good food!
Take on Gustasi as a platform
Platforms like this give a great chance to take the otherwise subdued talent of great home-chefs out in front of the right audience! Similarly, during these times of a Pandemic, there are many people who would rather prefer ordering from a home-chef than ordering from a restaurant, so Gustasi just almost fits right!
Your message for Newcomers!
- Never compromise with quality & Quantity
- Explore newer cooking styles – something away from your usual comfort zone
- There is nothing such as a ‘Perfect Recipe’ – be open to experiment and evolve – don’t be too particular about the usual practices that may have been followed by you
- Be passionate!