- Tell us something about you? And how would you describe your site to new readers?
I am Alka, an Economist by profession and pursuing my passion for bringing forward simple home cooked food to lime light through my Blog culinaryxpress.This blog is a diary of my adventure in cooking, which is fairly quick and simple to follow and make. I write about simple everyday meal, experimenting with various ingredients to come up with mouth-watering dishes and cuisines from around the Globe which I cook in the comfort of my kitchen.
- When did you start blogging and what has inspired you to do so?
I started blogging since August,2014 to drive my passion for food, travel and photography. I started blogging by posting my thoughts; my write ups and slowly grow a passion towards food photography too. I love blogging about my kitchen rendezvous which actually reflects my mind, thoughts and how I see the food through my lenses. I prefer to share recipes made with locally available fresh ingredients and which requires less time to cook.
- The photos of your recipes are one of the highlights of your blog. What are the elements that go into each photo?
Thank you so much for appreciating my work. I feel we eat through our eyes and photography is the soul of a food blog. I am a self taught Photographer and have developed a style of my own where I style my food as per its background. I do not use much props and like to keep my food as the hero and wove a story around it. Because of my hectic work life, I prefer to take my Photos only in the daytime in weekends.
- Have there been any mistakes along the way that you have learnt from?
I would not prefer to call it mistakes rather learning experiences . I have wasted a precious year in my blogging career because of work pressure an lack of clear vision and purpose. All these experiences have made me a more organized as a person who can perfectly balance work , family and blogging.
- Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it ?
MSG, Food Color, Canned juice
- Are there any ‘NAME’ trade secrets about cooking that are still hidden from the public eye?
Absolutely not, I love to share my recipes with people so that more and more people can learn and know about foods and cuisines which are yet to reach the limelight they deserve.
- Out of all the methods of cooking, which is your personal favorite?
Slow cooking method which requires the food to cook in it’s own gravy to extract maximum flavor out of it.
- What is the best compliment you have ever got as a food blogger?
When I was featured among the Top 25 Indian Chef Bloggers by "healthlisted".
- If you could have any four people, from any where in place, over for dinner, who would they be?
Gordon Ramsay, Peter Kuruvita, Marco Pierre White and Vikas Khanna
- What do you do when you are not cooking or blogging?
I prefer to relax with a good book and a strong coffee with my favorite music in the background or you will find me hitting the road on a long drive.
- What’s the best and worst thing about being a food blogger?
The best thing about being a food blogger is that when you got to know the food story behind a lot of traditional cuisines and get to experiment them in your own kitchen and the worst being a food blogger is keeping pace with the rat race the food blogging has become today.
- If you could just banish any one food, from the earth, what would it be?
This is very subjective but if I have to answer, then it’s the fried stuffs.
- Which other blogs do you follow?
I follow blogs which has scopes for learning styling and photography.
- What advice would you like to give to people who want to start blogging?
The one advice which I can give is, never start a blog for money or instant fame. Start a blog if you have a true passion for the thing you like. Then follow your passion and be sincere in it. If you do this, success will come to you sooner or later. Take blogging seriously, because it has a great future. Think of blogging as a profession and constantly try to improve yourself. Give genuine information to people, only then will they come to you.
- what can we expect from ALKA JENA in the future?
I would like to share more traditional Odia recipes which are still hidden from the world to know.
- What has been your experience with ALLARSH?
Its been a great to collaborate with ALLARSH and get to know other Diva bloggers. Thanks for the opportunity and I wish you all the best for your future.
Let’s wrap up the interview with a few quick questions-
- Favourite savoury ingredient to cook with
- Favourite sweet ingredient to cook with
- When I’m feeling lazy I cook…
- My pick me up dish
- Favourite dish not cooked by me
- For a romantic meal I would want to eat
- One cuisine I can live on
- One recipe I want to pass on
- Favourite Color
- Favourite Movie
- TV Show
- Favourite Book
I read everything
- Favourite Time of Day
- Your Zodiac sign