1.Tell us something about you?And how would you describe your site to new readers?
Shaheen : Hi everyone, I am Shaheen ! A simple 37 years woman who comes from a middle class Muslim family. Married to a die heart foodie Mr.Banker and a mother of a 9 yr boy. I am a qualified Physiotherapist who left her job around 3 yrs back to chase my dreams and do something that makes me feel happy and accomplished. Right now I am a proud owner of Spoon Fork And Food (www.spoonforkandfood.com ), a food stylist and a professional food photographer.
My website is a collection of good food and fond memories that remind me of my mum's home cooked food, those that transport me to distant moments of childhood or shared happy times with loved ones, friends and family. Recipes here are a reflection of me, my roots, who I was, who I am and who I will be as I evolve with the foods I discover, embrace and make them my own.
2.When did you start blogging and what has inspired you to do so?
Shaheen : Spoon Fork And Food happened to me in 2014 in a lazy afternoon when I was just thinking of my first step towards fulfilling my dreams. That was when my younger sister suggested me to open a blog first. Initially everything started to keep my sanity in check but gradually it started becoming bigger and stronger.
3. The photos of your recipes are one of the highlights of your blog. What are the elements that go into each photo?
Shaheen : It's sheer hardwork, dedication and passion that leads me to do what I am doing now and is loved by my readers and followers too. If you have that creative stink inside you, no one can stop your ideas and execution.
4. Have there been any mistakes along the way that you have learn t from?
Shaheen : Yes! I feel I am too fast and impatient at times. There was a time when I was in a rush to achieve lot in less time. That somewhere hampered my creativity and originality. We get to learn from our mistakes only hence I'm happy that I learnt and moved on for better.
5. Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it ?
Shaheen : Alcohol, Beef , Pork
6. Are there any ‘Spoon Fork And Food’ trade secrets about cooking that are still hidden from the public eye?
Shaheen : people often ask me how do I manage to cook, style, photograph and blog all 365 days. Very few know that I make very small portions of dish that is required for a photo shoot. Unless untill it's a curry that gets consumed by family.
7.Out of all the methods of cooking, which is your personal favorite?
Shaheen : I always love to follow the techniques. For me cooking has no short cuts! My personal favorite techniques are pan roasting and baking.
8.What is the best compliment you have ever got as a food blogger?
Shaheen : I remember a lady once came up to me and said that " i stopped by your blog accidentally and just couldn't take my eyes off from those beautiful picture. Immediately gave a thought to read out a recipe, read one, then two then many and now i am just addicted to your website. Whenever i want to get a classic Indian recipe, i know where to stop and check"
9. If you could have any four people, from any where in place, over for dinner, who would they be?
Shaheen : hahaha! why only four, i would want everyone at my home. Still i'd love to have Shahrukh Khan, President Obama, Chef Vikas Khanna and M.S.Dhoni over for dinner.
10.What do you do when you are not cooking or blogging?
Shaheen : I read food articles, surf recipes , play with my son etc
11.What’s the best and worst thing about being a food blogger?
Best thing : Doors of knowledge and innovation opens up taking your experience to another level.
Worst thing : Your relatives, friends or even strangers go crazy if you are invited for a lunch or dinner at their place, behaving as if you are a celebrity between them who is there to judge the food.
12.If you could just banish any one food, from the earth, what would it be?
Shaheen : Nothing really! What I don't like can be a favorite of someone else in some corner of earth.
13. Which other blogs do you follow? Shaheen : I mostly follow Indian bloggers like Passionate about Baking by Deeba Rajpal, Cubes n juliennes by Farrukh Shadab, Whisk Affair by Neha Mathur, Spice & Turmeric by Simi Jois etc
14.What advice would you like to give to people who want to start blogging?
Shaheen : Be original !!!
15.what can we expect from Spoon Fork And Food in the future?
Shaheen : Spoon Fork And Food is growing and now going leaps and bounds. With every step taken i assure to give my readers easy, customer friendly recipes that can make them want to cook it just by reading. I'll try continue the same in future as well and my readers would also get to see a lot of new recipes developed by me including International cuisines.
16.What has been your experience with ALLARSH?
Shaheen : I had been following Allarsh from quite a long time and i would definitely like to take this opportunity to congratulate the team behind Allarsh for doing such a wonderful job.
Let’s wrap up the interview with a few quick questions-
1. Favourite savoury ingredient to cook with :Paneer
2. Favourite sweet ingredient to cook with :Nolen Gur
3. When I’m feeling lazy I cook… : Poha/ Tahri
4. My pick me up dish : Biryani
5. Favourite dish not cooked by me : Rajma Chawal and Gatte by mom
6. For a romantic meal I would want to eat : Anything Italian
7. One cuisine i can live on : South Indian
8. One recipe i want to pass on : Mutton Istoo
9. Favourite Color : Black and Blue
10. Favourite Movie : Sound of Music
11. TV Show : Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
12. Favourite Book : Jamie Oliver
13. Favourite Time of Day : Evening
14. Your Zodiac sign : Capricorn