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Check Out Debashis Bhattacharyya’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Debashis Bhattacharyya.

Hi Debashis, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am a Saint Louis based food blogger and recipe developer. Primarily, I am a software professional from 9-5 and a passionate cook 24 X 7. I have a cooking blog and an Instagram page which is growing day by day. I create new recipes amalgamating tastes from different cultures and cuisines and share them on my feeds. I collaborate with various brands and use their products for my post helping them in the process. I have also written a mini cookbook for a spice brand. The story of my journey was also published in a book –“13 Months’ Salary Per Year “ in March 2021.

I am of Asian-Indian origin, I am a big foodie and I have been cooking since I was a kid. When I first came to the United States in 2010, I was shocked with the perception a lot of folks had regarding Indian food. The biggest myth here about Indian food is – “It is spicy” and I really wanted to help break this myth to start with. Indian cuisine is vast as it is a mixture of a lot of different provincial and regional cuisines which were further inspired by factors like demography, travelers, invaders, traders, and colonial rulers. Hence not all Indian food is spicy or even uses the same set of spices and condiments. Just to cite an example – the folks from the state of Bengal use a lot of poppy seeds and they love it in their food. This is primarily because poppy seeds are a byproduct of opium which was grown in the area during the colonial era for trade and the poor farmers were forced to eat the leftovers, a story of oppression where a forced habit back then led to the culinary culture of today.

As a kid, I was fostered to embrace the world as it is, and food is no different. I enjoy eating and cooking food from all parts of the world and I love experimenting with them by mixing flavors to create fusion. I used to cook food for my friends and family and talk about my fusion recipes with them. One fine day my wife (Sandy) asked me to think of an idea to spread it beyond the set of friends I had. I told her I do not have a culinary degree so what can I do?? She suggested me to leverage the power of Internet and share my recipes to a greater audience and that is when I thought of blogging.

I launched my blogging site and started my Instagram page at the same time. My experience in software aided me to tailor my blog and its web pages thereby being a catalyst to provide me a platform to promote my passion. I share meat-based, vegetarian, vegan, seafood and cocktail recipes in my site which are further classified into various subcategories.

This is how I made my debut with DebsCraftyCusine, a name that is popular on the internet today. Thanks to all the shoutouts and encouragement from my friends, family, the founders of several food and beverage companies and lastly my fans that has helped me throughout my journey.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There are many food bloggers out there so the biggest challenge was to make myself distinct and visible to start with. The next obstacle was to ensure I keep instilling creativity and innovation at my work, follow a schedule and ensure my followers get what they always want in my feeds. Not to forget, I also have a 9-5 job and hence time management was also one of major things that I had to take care of.

The biggest struggle was to understand and work to grow my reach in the online realm. I strengthened my online hold by taking part in many recipe competitions, collaborated with many brands, judged, and hosted some competitions, started a trivia about food facts and history, published funny reels, etc. These are things that have helped me grow and get me where I am today.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I use my experience with the Indian style of cooking to experiment and recreate a lot of classics. Such fusion recipes are a hit these days all over the world as globalization and Internet has brought the whole realm together and people are ready and want to taste global food. The idea is simple but needs a lot of precision while execution as I always ensure that the soul of the dish remains the same even while we make a fusion as “No one wants to ruin a classic”. Some of the delightful fusion dishes that you can find in my page are Canadian – “Baked Veggie Poutine”, Caribbean – “Jerk Chicken Tikka Masala”, Thai – “Stir Fry”, Chinese – “Manchuria Chicken”, Mexican – “Habanero Chipotle Kebab”, Italian –“Baked Pasta”, Greek –“Lemon Chicken”, Russian – “Bombay Mule” etc. The names would sound familiar to you, but I am sure you are able to spot the fusion component there as well. These renditions are an ode to the world cuisine, and I relish the idea of people making them in their homes following my pages.

I have taken part in many recipe competitions too, winning many of them which helped me gain some popularity in the initial days of my journey. Interestingly the first one I won was judged by a Jury from Master Chef India which I am very proud of. I have also collaborated with a lot of brands, judged, and hosted some competitions to make myself more relevant in this line.

In the future, I would love to collaborate with libraries to volunteer and help the local kids in the community, teaching them the nuances and gimmicks of Indian style of cooking. I would also love to share my knowledge and talk about food history and tell them how some of these dishes came into existence, helping them understand how history has influenced the food we eat today. I would also love to establish an eatery in the future where people would get to experience these cultural fusions in their plates.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Well, I started out as a novice and had no idea how the food blogging works. I did some research but probably having a dialog with an actual person was something I did not do which could have helped me big time back then. I would recommend new folks to do self-research and talk to folks who have already made it to the big stage. It is very important to get firsthand advice as there are many hidden things like choice of platforms, use of recipe schemas as a template to share your work, SEO, hashtags, marketing, etc. which influences the results and prior knowledge of these would propel you in the right direction.

I had to revamp my site midway and change its entire design to tackle a problem which took a lot of effort. I could have easily avoided this rework if I were cognizant about the nitty-gritty of blogging platforms, and this is why research is of paramount importance for newcomers.

The most important thing though is a virtue called “Patience”. I would ask anyone who is just starting to be patient. Rome was not built in a day, nor your work would be and hence you need to give it time to flourish and prosper. Do not get bogged down, just keep working hard to improve the quality and let time take its course to change your “May-day” to “Pay-day”.

Last but not the least, appreciate the work of others and be thankful, such gestures always make you a better person and helps you grow.

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