Our image of a person is highly influenced by his cultural practices, and food is an integral part of defining a person’s roots. Good food brings together stories of stories from far and wide. It is not just about treating your tastebuds with fantastic food but also about knowing about the place where the dish comes from, its story, and celebrating another way of living with every bite of marvel that we take.
Here is an MBA graduate who found his love for food and exploring sources of these heavenly treats intriguing and set out to let people know about these spots through his vlogs. Here he captures his candid reactions and reviews about these hubs of culinary expertise and brings together an impressive list for us to chose from. In conversation with Aswal Puthren where he talks about the story behind ‘Kozhikode To You.’
When did you realize that you had a flair for food and food vlogging?
I started pursuing this as a passion back in 2018 when I realized that many food spots are hidden in our city that are sources of good food after venturing out and exploring a bit. So I thought of bringing these spots to the public, which mutually benefits food spot owners as well as foodies.
Tell us about yourself, your background, and your previous ventures.
Myself Aswal Puthren, After my schooling, I pursued B. Com from Govt College Kodanchery.I enjoyed college life and thought of starting a venture as a part-time activity to meet my expenses. I started running a mobile and audio store in Calicut successfully for three years, and for my further studies, I moved to Coimbatore for MBA. I had to sell my store as I could not focus on the store from a long distance. After my MBA in 2014, I joined IIM Kozhikode as an Academic Associate and then later in 2017 joined IIMK LIVE, Incubation center of IIM Kozhikode as Senior Associate. I am presently working with IIMK LIVE, supporting new ventures and vlogging during holidays as a passion.
Good food goes along with tremendous stories. Do you have a remarkable account that you came across in one of your food travels?
Yeah. Each exploration gives you a variety of experiences as you are dealing with different people and food cultures. Even I had to listen to complaints from the public after seeing my video saying that meat inside the shawarma was significantly lesser when they purchased compared to the one in my video is .
What are the challenges that you faced when you set out to pursue this passion?
The main challenge is to be physically fit. We should give more importance to our health. Exploring food is the best thing in life, but we should find time to burn the calories.
Is there a particular event in your career as a food vlogger that catapulted your growth?
I captured dining arrangements during few marriage functions during the covid pandemic with a minimum number of people and limited menus. The public was curious to know how the marriage happens, and hence the video went viral.
Being in the limelight puts you into the process of constant criticism. How do you react to your critics?
Critics are always good. Their reviews help us to improve. I receive a lot of negative comments for my video as the taste depends upon the person. But all the comments and the work that I do in response to it, trying to bring a positive change to my way of doing things, have consistently increased my reach.
Could you brief us about your favorite food spots for different cuisines in Kerala?
Each district has its unique items. That always makes one person move to other districts to explore food. If we take Kerala, we have Kozhikode for Halwa and Biriyani, Kannur for Cocktails, and Malabari snacks, Kochi has a mixture of all flavors, Palakkad for vegetarian foods, Kollam for mutton, etc.
Along with food blogging, you give your audience options for travel spots as well. What is your suggestion for the top travel spots under the present restrictions for those who want to take a break from the monotonicity of life?
Travel spots that refresh yourself can be Wayanad and Munnar. Some many resorts and hotels provide the best services for the public. All things are listed on my page.
What are your future plans for food vlogging? What other hobbies do you pursue outside of this?
The plan is to build a platform that shows what all items are available in all places within seconds. Other hobbies include long driving and cooking.
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