About Rakhee Vaswani
Food for me is simply two words: love and passion. It’s the remedy for any problem. You will always find me with a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eye when I see a cake is rising in an oven or when I’m enjoying some comfort food with my family.
I am a Cordon Bleu Certified chef from Tante Marie London, PME Masters in Sugarcraft, Bakery Course from Sophia College and I am currently successfully leading Palate Culinary Studio.
I started cooking at an early age; I learnt the colour, texture and look of the food when I started cooking with my mum in the kitchen. I attended workshops with my neighbours and aunts. My love for food and my passion to cook grew deeper as I saw my favourite English chef, Nigella Lawson, on TV. I could relate to food and Nigella very fondly as we both share the same flare for great cooking.
I was just a little girl when I realised that cooking was the joy of my short ten-year-old life. As I grew older, my curiosity about various food cuisines and dishes got even more intense. I am really thankful to my husband because he is the one who exposed me to different types of food that were unknown to us at that time. I remember my honeymoon in Bali was the first time I actually became an adventurous eater. My passion for food only grew after that. After a couple of years I started a small cooking class with a partner at home but stopped soon after to focus on my children. I continued to experiment with my old recipes from my cooking class days and shortly after, my children told me to pursue my long lost dream again. If it weren’t for my kids and my husband I would not be where I am right now. I started going for short certified courses to London and other places and I started Palate Culinary Studio with just five classes. Now we have around 60 different cuisines and a total of 160 one-day workshops. Over the years I have taught people of all age groups from small kids to grandparents.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
Currently, I’m working on introducing new classes to the huge list of classes we already have. Hence most of the time you’ll find me either experimenting with new dishes or researching new recipes to make sure my students get to know all there is to know about cooking. I recently have been working on a book and it will soon be in stores early in the year 2015. We are also looking at starting a high tea catering service very soon.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
The food industry has a lot of scope and new things are always materialising. When I started my studio five years ago, there were only home cooking classes to look out for. However, many new studios have popped up in the last few years. They’re more social media savvy and work very differently. I wouldn’t call it a challenge, but it’s been fun adapting to the new trends and at the same time maintaining our core values.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
I started out at the age of 38 which was a tough decision. Having the courage to start over then and keep persevering and growing, I think that is my greatest achievement. I have never looked back. It is so important to keep learning and knowledge never goes to waste. Palate used to be in a tiny one car garage five years ago, now we are a full-fledged, top of the range culinary studio. We will expand to more branches in the future.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I can’t imagine my life any other way! I am extremely grateful for the love and appreciation I have received and wish to continue working very hard and doing some great work.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is my husband. He is a food connoisseur and I credit him the most of all for where I have achieved now.
What does the future hold for you?
A high tea catering business, expanding to another branch, a book launch and much more!
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Palate Culinary
Facebook: Palate Culinary Boutique Studio